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Lawsuit: Oxendine took Oscars trip on donor's tab

ATLANTA -- WSB-TV reported Wednesday that a lawsuit claims Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine -- a Republican candidate for governor -- took trips on the tab of a campaign contributor who asked for help in an insurance dispute.

The federal lawsuit involves a dispute over investments in an Indiana insurance company. The company, in court documents, alleges Dr. Jeffrey Gallups shelled out almost $2,000 in 2007 for Oxendine and his wife to attend the Oscars.

The lawsuit also refers to a 2006 hunting trip financed by Gallups.

An Oxendine spokesman denied any wrongdoing, saying Wednesday the trips were not illegal and the commissioner reimbursed the donor.

WSB-TV also reported the trips were provided at the same time Oxendine's office was involved in a dispute over Gallups' possible removal from a list of Blue Cross Blue Shield-approved physicians.

In a statement, Oxendine noted he has helped 200,000 consumers in disputes.