HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett has recently disclosed that he took trips in 2011 worth more than $2,300 that were paid for by a Pennsylvania businessman who gave generously to Corbett's campaign and serves on Corbett's privatization council.
Corbett's spokesman, Kevin Harley, said Thursday that John D. Moran Jr., who heads Watsontown-based Moran Industries, is a longtime friend of the governor's and that he is not aware of any business that Moran's company has before the state, such as a permit application.
The ethics filing was made belatedly after a clerical error was discovered, Harley said.
When it was discovered, it was filed, Harley said.
The filing said Moran paid for a five-day trip in July 2011 for Corbett and his wife Susan to Rhode Island valued at $1,423.
It also reported trips for Corbett valued at $902 on Moran's private plane and helicopter to events in Williamsport and Pittsburgh on Sept. 30, 2011.
The disclosure was made last month to the State Ethics Commission in an amendment to Corbett's 2011 financial interest statement that he originally submitted in March. StateImpact Pennsylvania/NPR first reported the disclosure Thursday.
Moran did not immediately respond to a telephone message Thursday from The Associated Press, but he told StateImpact that he would not discuss the Rhode Island vacation.
Harley said he did not know how Moran and Corbett, the state's former attorney general, first met.
Moran Industries is a warehousing and distribution company with facilities throughout central Pennsylvania.
It is no stranger to the state's financial incentives for businesses.
Moran says on its website that it has a facility in state-sponsored tax-free business development zone and state documents report that it received a loan of nearly $2.2 million from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority before Corbett became governor.
Moran and his wife, Ann, gave Corbett's campaign more than $100,000 since 2009 began, according to state campaign finance filings.
Corbett last year appointed Moran to an unpaid position on his Governor's Advisory Council on Privatization and Innovation.
He also appointed Ann Moran last year to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Moran also went with Corbett on a six-day trade mission to France and Germany last March, and he co-chairs the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, a not-for-profit business advocacy group that receives funding from the state.