Whitmer's reelection campaign will now pay for Florida flight

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's reelection campaign -- not a nonprofit fund -- will pay for her flights to and from Florida, where she visited her elderly, ailing father in March.

The disclosure Thursday came in a letter to a Republican lawmaker who had asked questions about the trip, which has been scrutinized by the GOP. A lawyer for the governor's campaign and the fund said he learned from PVS Chemicals, which supplied the private jet, that it could not accept the $27,000 payment except from a candidate committee because it is not authorized to operate charter flights.

In a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Steve Johnson, Christopher Trebilcock said PVS and the fund, Michigan Transition 2019, learned of a "miscommunication" between themselves over the source of payment due to media reports.

He said Whitmer flew private, instead of commercial, for security reasons -- citing death threats. Her state-funded security detail accompanied her. Their expenses will be covered by the campaign, lessening the burden on taxpayers, he said. 

"But for her elected office, the governor would not have incurred the security expenses for travel to see her ailing father on short notice," Trebilcock said.

RELATED: Gov. Whitmer apologizes for social distancing blunder

The Gulfstream 280 business jet is registered to Air Eagle, whose agent is John Nicholson, executive vice president of Detroit-based PVS Chemicals, according to state records.