Airplane concerns stall Mo. cabinet nominee

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon’s nominee for a top administration post is stalled in Missouri’s Senate over the purchase of a $5.6 million state plane.

Doug Nelson’s appointment as commissioner of administration was held up Thursday while senators look into the Highway Patrol’s purchase of a new King Air 250 plane.

Nelson, a longtime Nixon aide, approved the plane’s purchase in December as acting administration commissioner, a post he’s held since February 2012. He needs the Senate to confirm his nomination by Feb. 7 to stay in office.

Columbia Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer sponsored Nelson’s appointment but held it up while he and other Republicans look into the plane’s purchase. He said lawmakers should have been consulted before buying the plane.

The commissioner of administration oversees state purchases and manages contracts.

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