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Updated Corbett ethics filing shows donor trip

Published by Laura Olson on .

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Gov. Tom Corbett says there's no legal issues with flights that were provided to him at no cost by a friend and businessman who has ties to the drilling industry.

StateImpact Pennsylvania first reported the update filed to his ethics disclosure for 2011, which was revised in November to include two trips worth more than $2,300 that were paid for by John Moran of Watsontown-based Moran Industries.

As StateImpact noted, Moran's company specializes in trucking, rail and warehousing facilities. He participated in Corbett's trade mission to France and Germany, where he touted the benefits of Marcellus gas drilling.

Moran and his wife, Ann, also are friends with the Corbetts. During the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, the couple contributed $45,750 to Corbett's war chest and spent another $38,000 in donated transportation services.

A review of that disclosure (posted above) shows the first trip -- to Rhode Island -- occurred July 1 through July 5, which would have been immediately following Corbett's first budget. A second trip was to unspecified events in Williamsport and Pittsburgh on Sept. 30. 

Asked about it at an unrelated press conference this afternoon, Corbett said that the Rhode Island trip was for vacation and that they stayed on the Morans' boat. 

Corbett told reporters that the newly disclosed trips were both above-board.

"I don't think there's anything to explain," he said. "We followed the law."

A Post-Gazette review of other ethics filings shows that Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley also got a Rhode Island treat from Moran last year.

His filing lists an August 17 fishing trip and lodging paid for by Moran at an estimated cost of $740.00. The following item says his flight to Newport -- valued at $2,228.20 -- was paid for Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser.

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