Ethics group urged probe on Nikki Haley travel

WASHINGTON, Oct 9, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – An anti-corruption group had urged an
investigation into Nikki Haley’s acceptance of private airplanes and free
basketball tickets a day before she resigned Tuesday as US ambassador to the
United Nations.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had urged the State
Department’s inspector general to probe seven flights that Haley and her
husband took last year on the luxury aircraft of businessmen from South
Carolina, where she was formerly governor.

Haley, on a filing required of government employees, disclosed the flights
from New York to South Carolina and Washington and estimated the highest
value at $1,066, based on the cost of commercial first-class tickets.

But the pressure group said that the value was more likely in the tens of
thousands of dollars.

It said in its letter that Haley’s disclosure form was “insufficient to
resolve concerns about her frequent acceptance of expensive gifts.”

Walter Shaub, who headed the Office of Government Ethics under president
Barack Obama, tweeted about the flights hours before Haley announced her
resignation: “She undervalued them and it’s not entirely clear if individuals
or their companies bore the costs.”

Haley also acknowledged receiving four tickets to a New York Knicks game
worth a total of $19,588 courtesy of Vivek Garipalli, a health care
entrepreneur she described in the disclosure form as a longtime friend.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said that the flights
could have value in the range of the tickets.

There was no immediate reaction from Haley or indication that the study was
connected to her resignation.

Haley, meeting with President Donald Trump, said that she wanted time off
after six years as governor and nearly two representing his foreign policy at
the United Nations.