Records: Taxpayers paid $18,000 for Gov. Murphy staffers' India trip

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Records obtained by The Associated Press indicate New Jersey taxpayers were billed about $18,000 for government officials' recent trip to India despite Gov. Phil Murphy's office's earlier statements that a privately funded group would pay for the visit.

The Associated Press Tuesday received payment vouchers indicating taxpayers footed the bill for four of the governor's staffers for airfare to India and lodging as well as the immunization costs.

Choose New Jersey, a private-industry funded group, financed other portions of September's six-day visit.

RELATED: Murphy visits India on official business; first NJ governor to do so 

The group's president, Jose Lozano, says Choose paid for meals, travel within India and other "incidentals," but declined to give a total.

Murphy spokesman Mahen Gunaratna says the "vast majority of expenses" were covered by Choose, not taxpayers.

He says the mission will "ultimately pay dividends."

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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