State Senator John Sampson, who represents parts of Sheepshead Bay and Marine Park, racked up the fifth highest Senate travel bill, which will be paid by taxpayers.
Sampson, who served as Senate leader in 2009 when Democrats briefly controlled the body, has been charged with embezzlement, for which he has pleaded not guilty. Two other colleagues who also made headlines last year for corruption charges – Malcolm Smith and Eric Stevenson – filled out two more of the top five travel spenders in the Senate.
The local pol collected $15,449 in per diems, in addition to $9,068 for travel expenses related to gas, mileage and tolls, according to the Daily News.
Per diems are paid out by the taxpayers for each day the legislators spend in Albany rather than their district. Additional travel expenses can be reimbursed if on legislative business. The reimbursement system has come under fire for rampant abuse in the past, with some pols claiming trips to Albany – and being reimbursed the per diem, gas and tolls – when they were actually elsewhere, including vacation.
Sampson, Smith and Stevenson also curiously put in for per-diem reimbursements all year long, even though the legislative session ends in June.