NBC10.com - Tim Furlong
The Delaware State Treasurer is being questioned for his spending habits after a recent article from the state's largest newspaper accused him of misusing the state credit card. NBC10's Tim Furlong spoke to the treasurer to hear his side of the story.
Delaware’s State Treasurer is speaking out after allegations surfaced that he misused his state credit card.
An article in the Delaware News Journal accused state treasurer Chip Flowers of using the card for personal expenses, including large room service breakfasts while attending a conference in Alaska in September of last year. Flowers was with Erika Benner, a top Delaware deputy who stepped down after she admitted to using her state credit card to pay for New England Patriots tickets as well as car service to the game.
The News Journal also accused Flowers and Benner of extending their stay in Alaska.
In light of the article, Flowers is speaking out and defending himself, calling the News Journal article unfair and inaccurate.
“Government is about integrity and knowledge,” Flowers said. “If people can’t get that knowledge and integrity from their newspaper then why have one?”
Flowers claims he had meetings during his extended days in Alaska. He also says the article implies he was romantically involved with Benner and that he was cheating the state. He denies both claims.
“That goes to the integrity of the office,” Flowers said. “People say Chip Flowers is using taxpayer money on his trips. That’s a lie.”
On Monday, Flowers sent out a press release with a photo of a check.
“The amount of the check covered the cost of the Treasurer's trip including airfare, meals, lodging, and registration (it does not include costs incurred by Treasurer Flowers during his free time - which costs were paid by Treasurer Flowers personally),” a spokesperson wrote.
According to the spokesperson, the check shows that the conference was not paid for by Delaware taxpayers.
Flowers insists that he is using the card properly and staying by the books. He also says he paid the state back for any and all personal expenses.
“You have my assurance,” he said.
Editors with the News Journal plan to meet with Flowers on Wednesday to discuss their recent article.