Craddick's Travel Under Fire in Ethics Complaint

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick used about $15,000 in campaign funds to charter a private plane from Aspen, Colorado, to Houston.

The Dallas Morning News reports the money also paid to bring Craddick's wife along with him to a conference in Lithuania. The $13,500 chartered plane took the Craddicks to a Houston lawmaker's funeral. The Lithuanian conference Nadine Craddick attended with her husband - at a cost of $1,800 in air fare - was a gathering of state legislative leaders.

The travel is the subject of an ethics complaint against the Republican speaker from Midland. Although the expenditures are probably legal, The News reports government watchdogs say they appear excessive.

Dave Palmer who filed the ethics complaint against Craddick. Palmer analyzes the campaign finance spending of officeholders across the country for his California-based Web site A Craddick spokeswoman says Craddick's expenditures were legitimate.