The owner of a Louisiana-based charter flight company at the center of a growing controversy involving Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is declining to corroborate the account of Landrieu’s spokesman regarding the financial details of a charter flight purchase.
Reached by phone Saturday, Bobby Butler, the owner of Butler Aviation, declined an opportunity to confirm that his company had reimbursed Landrieu’s congressional office and taken payment from her campaign for a flight that initially was, but never should have been, paid by her congressional office.
The charter flight in question was for Landrieu to travel to a fundraiser. Lawmakers are prohibited from using their congressional office accounts to fund political activity like fundraisers.
On Friday, Senator Landrieu announced that she has ordered a full review of all the charter air flights she has taken during her 18 years in the United States Senate. Her spokesman, Matthew Lehner, said that the results of that review will be made public in September, before the Senate returns to session.
In November, Landrieu’s congressional office paid $3,200 for a a 2013 round trip flight between New Orleans and St. Charles, Louisiana to a political event. Landrieu’s campaign spokesman has said the payment was the result of a billing error from Butler Aviation, and that once Landrieu realized it in late July, the company reimbursed the congressional office and accepted payment from her campaign.
But asked whether those payments had in fact taken place, Butler told Breitbart News, “we can’t keep kicking that dead horse.”
“I don’t know exactly how it was resolved. I am the owner of a taxicab company. I have a bookkeeper,” he added.
“Our dealing with Senator Landrieu and her staff has always been professional,” he said. “If we billed it improperly, I’m sure it’s been resolved or is in the process of being resolved. Apparently an honest mistake has been made and that’s all I want to comment about it.”