Councilman Byron Lee of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans spent nearly $22,000 of campaign funds on golf in 2008, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Lee claims that it was all in the conduct of official business, all except that $2,174 he spent on a three-day golf trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. That was a personal trip, the expense accidentally included on his finance reports, and he has asked his campaign treasurer to remove them, he told the newspaper.
"My recollection is we've written checks for golf tournaments we've participated in," he said. "I have constituents and other people I've played with many times. At times I might cover it and may not play."
Five other councilmen had golf expenses paid with campaign funds, the story said. Its source was the state's Ethics Administration Program, which released campaign finance reports for 2008.
-- John Strege