US Sen. Robert Menendez set up defense fund, paid law firm $250K, documents show
Friday January 31, 2014, 4:13 PM
BY HERB JACKSON
Sen. Bob Menendez paid a law firm $250,000 in December and has set up a legal trust to raise money for further costs related to investigations by the Justice Department and the Senate’s ethics committee into his relationship a major contributor, disclosures filed today show.
Menendez’s campaign also paid that contributor, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, another $11,250 in December for a flight on Melgen’s private plane in 2011. Last January, Menendez reimbursed Melgen another $58,500 from his personal checking account for other flights that had not been cleared in advance with the Senate’s ethics committee.
Menendez’s spokeswoman, Tricia Enright, said Menendez had flown commercially to Miami for a series of fund-raisers and meetings and returned on Melgen’s plane.
“Due to an oversight, the campaign did not reimburse Dr. Melgen for the cost of that flight at the time,” Enright said. “When that oversight was discovered at the end of 2013, Senator Menendez directed his campaign to immediately reimburse Dr. Melgen.”