AP: Speaker Spent Freely in Last Days in Office

Craddick renovated Capitol apartment

Now-former Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick renovated his cherished Capitol apartment -- spending all but $18.55 from a fund that once topped $1.3 million.

The Associated Press reports the final purchase order was issued hours before Craddick handed power over to Rep. Joe Straus of San Antonio.

Straus got Craddick's leadership job -- plus keys to the 1,804-square-foot apartment behind the House chamber.

Private funds were used for the renovation.

Tom "Smitty" Smith with the watchdog group Public Citizen said the last-minute expenditures were inappropriate.

Craddick declined comment.

Craddick on Jan. 4 withdrew from the speaker's race.

The next day, the Texas State Preservation Board approved an expenditure of $124,000 on the apartment.

Board director John Sneed said Craddick inquired about the balance in the account during the week of Jan. 5.

The Legislature convened Jan. 13.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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