Ethics Complaint Filed Against Nebraska State Senator

Sen. Jim Smith

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A watchdog group is alleging that a Nebraska state senator failed to disclose travel expenses while visiting a tar sands mining area in Canada.

The Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy filed a state ethics complaint Tuesday against Sen. Jim Smith, of Papillion.

Smith was one of nine U.S. state lawmakers on the trip, sponsored by the American Legislative Exchange Council. The tour included visits with TransCanada Inc., developer of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The complaint alleges Smith failed to disclose roughly $1,467 for a charter flight to a remote mining area.

Smith says he consulted with state disclosure officials before he took the trip, and he believes all expenses were properly reported. He says he paid for his own commercial airfare to Canada and for a hotel room.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.