This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Rep. Mia Love has decided to reimburse the federal government for two flights to Washington, D.C.'s most glamorous party, having first used her official congressional account to pay for the trip.
The move comes after The Hill, a D.C. publication, noted she charged two flights and parking or taxis worth more than $1,100 on April 25 and 26.
The same weekend Love and her husband, Jason, were spotted taking a picture with famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
The event is a mix of celebrities, politicians and reporters, pre-parties, after-parties, tuxes and gowns, all capped with the president telling jokes.
A House member's office account should not be used for events that "are primarily social in nature," according to the congressional handbook.
Richard Piatt, Love's spokesman, blamed "a staff member" for buying the tickets using the government funds and defended the move by saying "The trip included time for official business in the office as well as for the correspondents dinner that weekend."
He cast her repayment as a move made out of an abundance of caution.
"Rep. Love takes the use of taxpayer money very seriously, and in order to ensure there is never a question about the proper use of funds, Rep. Love will reimburse the government for those flights," he said.
Love holds the only Utah seat that Democrats nationally are targeting. Doug Owens is running his second campaign against Love and he keyed in on the flight reimbursement.
"It's disappointing that Mia Love attended a fancy party in D.C. and stuck taxpayers with the bill," he said. "We deserve better."