Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder defends stays at, costs for St. Louis-area hotels

Sunday, April 3, 2011 | 3:51 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has charged taxpayers a total of $35,050 for at least 329 nights at hotels in St. Louis and St. Louis County since 2006.

Kinder defended himself Sunday, telling The Associated Press he was audited in 2007 and 2010 by Democratic auditors and that the hotel stays were never an issue. He says he won't apologize for spending a lot of time in a city that is the economic engine of the region.

The Post-Dispatch reported that sometimes it was society balls, baseball games and political events that prompted visits to the city. His staff said in a four-page statement that Kinder may fit meetings around personal social events or those he attends in his role as lieutenant governor.

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