HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Governor Malloy's wallet is about $1,200 lighter Thursday night, after he cut a check to 'People Magazine'.
He forked over the money in the face of Republican criticism about the magazine 'footing the bill' for his trip to a high-profile Washington DC dinner last weekend.
After an avalanche of news stories and sharp criticism from one of his potential opponents in next year's election, the Governor's office announced Thursday that he has reimbursed People Magazine for his airfare, hotel and attendance at last weekend's White House Correspondent's Dinner in Washington.
"The Governor's paying back the money today is evidence that he did violate the ethics laws, in my opinion," said Sen. John McKinney.
The Republican leader in the House who is also considering a run against Malloy next year, also had a sharp reaction.
"Well, he was wrong, he's now admitted he's wrong," said Rep. Larry Cafero.
But the Governor, insists he conducted a lot of state business at the party, his spokesman issuing a statement saying he wrote the check:
"To remove a needless distraction when there are far more important public policy issues. We are confident that People Magazine's payment would have been proper under Connecticut's ethics laws."
"I would expect the Governor, who still maintains he did nothing wrong, if he continues to believe that, despite the evidence that he's written a check to the contrary that he would continue to seek and advisory opinion from the Office of State Ethics," said McKinney.
But we will never know because since Malloy is paying the bill himself, the Executive Director of the Office of State Ethics says there's nothing to investigate because under state law; state officials have thirty days to make reimbursements so the whole thing is over.
The editor of the magazine tells News 8; they invited Malloy because of his involvement in the tragedy at Sandy Hook, and because he is now "playing on a larger stage."
The Governor's spokesman repeated what the Governor told News 8 earlier in the week, that he accepted the magazine's gift in order to relieve taxpayers of the cost and now, instead of shifting the cost to taxpayers, he's paying it himself.
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