Spree: Gulf Coast officials spent wildly with BP cleanup funds

WHAT: BP paid state and local governments more than $754 million in the year since the Gulf oil spill. And many coastal politicians squandered tens of millions of dollars on gadgets, vehicles and gear that had little to do with the cleanup.

WHERE: Biloxi, Miss., bought a dozen SUVs. Ocean Springs, Miss., bought Tasers for reserve police officers. Florida’s tourism agency sent pieces of its $32 million grant to Atlantic Coast counties, which were never befouled by oil.

WHY: BP opened its checkbook while the crisis was still going on. Few conditions on how states could use the money were set, only that cash should go toward mitigating problems from the spill.

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