Friendswood lawmaker cleared of expense allegations
AUSTIN — State prosecutors have cleared Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, of any wrongdoing in the way he gets paid for state travel.
A California-based ethics watchdog filed a complaint last month regarding more than 100 travel expenses that Taylor had paid for out of his campaign account while also getting reimbursed by the state for the same expenses.
Taylor said he repaid his campaign account, but lawmakers are not required to report those repayments. He said he favors mandatory disclosure to avoid appearances of double billing.
"We need to change it where state reimbursements are required to be put on the report," Taylor said Wednesday.
"I will amend my reports to show those credits that I was obviously putting back into my account," he said. "I just wasn't showing them on the financial reports because they weren't required."
Requiring disclosure of repayments to the office holder or campaign account will be "a pretty simple, little fix. I'm going to do it just so I don't have to deal with questions in the future," the chairman of the House Republican Caucus said.
Gregg Cox, the director of the Travis County Public Integrity Unit, informed Taylor in a letter that his office had closed the matter after reviewing Taylor's banking records.
"I'm pleased that they were able to handle it promptly and look at it fairly quickly rather than dragging it out for a long time," Taylor said.
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