Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday he regrets the cost to taxpayers for his weekend trips to his Carmel Valley home, but says it's important "just to get your mind straight and your perspective straight."

Panetta says he regrets cost of trips home - Mercury News
Panetta said he'd try to find some savings, with each round trip costing approximately $32,000.... Based on fuel and other operating expenses for his Air Force plane, the 27 trips have cost the government as much as $860,000.
White House denies ‘deal’ on Panetta’s commute - Susan Crabtree/The Washington Times
Contradicting an account by a Pentagon official, the White House is denying that President Obama struck a “deal” with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to allow him to commute home to California most weekends on a military aircraft at a cost of $32,000 per round-trip flight and a total of $860,000 as of early April....

Amid outcry over wasteful spending at a General Services Administration conference that cost top officials their jobs, Mr. Panetta earlier this month admitted to paying just $17,000 for his share of the cost of the 27 round trips, approximately $630 per visit.