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10 senators spend more than $39,000 on decorating

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Ten Democratic state senators have spent more than $39,300 to decorate their offices, including a $2,999 sofa and a $1,155 executive chair, according to records kept by the Senate president pro tem’s office.

Also included in the costs was work to repair windows and replace carpeting, the Press-Register and the New York Times Regional Newspapers in Alabama reported Thursday.

Senate President Pro Tem Hinton Mitchem, D-Union Grove, led the spending list at $14,303.

Mitchem said Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne, moved into the old president pro tem’s office because Mitchell has the newly created position of deputy president pro tem, and Mitchem converted an empty conference room into his office.

“There was nothing in that office. I had to start from scratch,” Mitchem said.

Mitchem’s expenses included a $2,070 desk, $1,154 conference table, and $1,155 executive chair, plus $2,407 for new carpet for his and Mitchell’s offices.

Sen. Pat Lindsey, D-Butler, was second, spending $9,824, including a $2,999 sofa, two chairs costing $959 each, and an executive chair costing $949. The figure for Lindsey’s office includes two pending payments: $800 for an acrylic painting of tulips and $152 for framing.

Lindsey said his secretary asked if she could refurbish the room because the carpet had mildew and the couch was worn. Lindsey said he had been in the office since 1994 and this was the first time it had been redone.

Other senators’ expenditures were: $3,999 for Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery; $3,865 for Parker Griffith, D-Huntsville; $2,348 for Myron Penn, D-Union Springs; $1,967 for Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro; $1,560 for Larry Means, D-Attalla; $880 for Hank Sanders, D-Selma; $447 for Roger Bedford, D-Russellville; and $148 for Zeb Little, D-Cullman.

The Senate’s records did not list any redecorating costs for Republican members.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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