New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) spent more than $82,000 in taxpayer money on concessions at NFL games -- a sum that Republicans later reimbursed to the state Treasury to avoid impropriety.
According to a New Jersey Watchdog analysis of records from the governor's office that was published Monday, Christie used $300,000 of his $360,000 state allowance over five years to purchase food, alcohol and desserts. Some $82,594 of that sum went to Delaware North Sportservice, which operates the concessions at MetLife Stadium, the home of both the New York Giants and Jets teams.
To avoid a potential scandal that could embarrass their rising political star, the New Jersey Republican State Committee reimbursed the Treasury in March 2012 for Christie’s purchases from “DNS Sports.” Since then, the governor has refrained from using his expense account at MetLife and other sports venues.
According to the analysis, Christie was also a big fan of the grocery store Wegmans Food Markets, where he spent $76,373 in 53 shopping runs. A spokesman for the governor defended the nature of the expenses, explaining they were for "official" and "business" purposes.
This isn't the first time the potential 2016 presidential candidate's expenses have come under scrutiny. In February, The New York Times detailed the governor's taste for private jets and access to celebrities. And earlier this year, ethics watchdogs raised concerns about Christie's all-expense-paid trip to watch a playoff game featuring the Dallas Cowboys -- of which the governor is a fan -- that was paid for by team owner Jerry Jones.