Administration gave away $31K in Olympic tickets

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear's administration gave away Olympic tickets worth more than $31,000 after canceling plans to send a delegation.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the state's 20 tickets were nonrefundable and couldn't easily be resold under Olympics rules. So tourism officials gave them to two British tour companies that sometimes do business in Kentucky.

Kentucky Tourism Department spokesman Gil Lawson said the state had a contractual obligation to buy the tickets from Gosh P.R.

The state canceled its $179,900-a-year contract with the company shortly after canceling the trip. That followed stories in the Herald-Leader about Gosh P.R.'s performance. Also, Tourism Commissioner Mike Cooper resigned over ethics violations involving the company.

Told about the tickets, Kentucky Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson called Cooper "the gift that keeps on giving."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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