New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy spent thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds on partying it up at a Taylor Swift concert and other MetLife Stadium events.
The governor is now asking the state’s Democratic Party to cover the $12,000 bill.
The money spent on concessions at the events was first reported by Politico:
Murphy’s office said the Democratic State Committee was initially expected to cover the stadium costs but didn’t. The state was left with the bill, which was paid via Murphy’s $95,000-a-year expense account — a longstanding line item in the state budget which has been consistently renewed under Murphy and his predecessors.
Budget language says the governor’s expense account is for “Official Receptions, Official Residence, and Other Official Expenses.” The expense account is barred from being used for “personal purposes” and it cannot supplement the governor’s annual $175,000 salary.
Murphy’s office told the outlet that they are asking the party to cover the costs, but did not elaborate on why they would be expected to do so. Events are often used as ways to woo potential endorsements.
“Once it was clear that there were outstanding bills that had not been paid, the state stepped up to meet this responsibility,” Murphy spokeswoman Jennifer Sciortino told the outlet in a statement. “We are pursuing reimbursement from the state party for costs incurred at MetLife Stadium.”
Phil Swibinski, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, said that he had “no knowledge” of any invoices sent to the party.
“We are looking into the matter in order to determine whether any additional action is necessary at this time,” Swibinski said.
The Open Public Records Act request from the outlet found that he had spent $936 for snacks during a July 2018 Taylor Swift concert, $2,095 at a September 2018 USA vs. Brazil soccer game, $2,068 at a November 2018 Jets vs. Patriots game, $1,413 at the Hot 97’s Summer Jam in June 2019, $2,856 for the September 2019 USA vs. Mexico soccer game, and $2,479 for the October 2019 Jets vs. Cowboys game.
Former NJ Governor Chris Christie previously had the Republican State Committee reimburse the state more than $82,000 in concession costs at MetLife Stadium.