You are herePennLive: Gas driller pays Pennsylvania state Senator Joe Scarnati's way for trip, ticket to Super Bowl

PennLive: Gas driller pays Pennsylvania state Senator Joe Scarnati's way for trip, ticket to Super Bowl

February 13, 2011- An energy company drilling in Pennsylvania’s gas-rich Marcellus Shale paid for a top Republican state senator’s trip to see the Pittsburgh Steelers play in the Super Bowl in Texas, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, had his ticket, plane ride and hotel bill paid for by Consol Energy Inc., one of Scarnati’s top aides told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The free trip is permitted under Pennsylvania’s ethics rules, Drew Crompton, Scarnati’s legal counsel and chief of staff, told the newspaper. Scarnati might reimburse Consol for some of the costs, Crompton said.

Consol executives and lobbyists have contributed more than $15,000 to Scarnati’s campaigns since 2006, according to state records. The Inquirer reported that it’s not known whether Consol paid for any other legislators to attend the game in Arlington, Texas, a contest in which the Green Bay Packers beat the Steelers 31-25.

In a statement, Canonsburg-based Consol said it “had several guests join us at the Super Bowl” and noted that the expenses would be reported on its next lobbying disclosure report. The company did not identify the other guests.

Under Pennsylvania law, legislators are allowed to accept such tickets and travel as long as they report everything above a $650 annual threshold.




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