Missouri's U.S. Sen. McCaskill to return money spent on private flights

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | 5:58 p.m. CST; updated 6:26 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WASHINGTON — Sen. Claire McCaskill's office says she plans to pay the U.S. Treasury $88,000 to cover the costs of charter flights she organized through a company in which she and her husband have an ownership stake.

The Missouri Democrat's husband, Joe Shepard, incorporated Sunset Cove Associates LLC in 2002. The company owns an eight-seat, twin-engine plane that, according to records, McCaskill's Senate office has paid for her to use 89 times at tax payer's expense.

News of McCaskill's use of the plane was first reported by on Wednesday.

McCaskill spokeswoman Maria Speiser says McCaskill's family did not profit from paying for the use of the plane. She says McCaskill is repaying the costs of the plane's use to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.

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