State Sen. Julia Boseman, a Wilmington Democrat in the midst of a child custody battle, is staying at the Raleigh home of a lobbyist during the legislative session.
Boseman said she is renting a basement apartment in the home of lobbyist Theresa Kostrzewa. Both said Boseman is paying $50 a night, Dan Kane and David Ingram report.
Recent changes to the state's lobbying laws prevent lawmakers from accepting free or reduced-rate housing from lobbyists. Walker Reagan, a legislative staff attorney who advises on ethics issues, said Boseman would not be in violation of the law so long as she is paying a market rate. He said that Boseman had asked his opinion.
Kostrzewa said she checked apartments in her neighborhood and found that apartments were renting for $800 a month. That comes out to $27 a night. She said she also checked with a nearby hotel and found the government rate at roughly $65 per night.
Boseman is the Senate's first openly gay member. She is in the midst of a custody battle with her former domestic partner, and it has led to disclosures that she had smoked marijuana in the year before her election to the state legislature in 2004 and that she has defaulted on a $1.3 million loan on her former home.
Boseman said she has her son every other week under the custody agreement and she brings him to Raleigh.
"My No. 1 priority was finding a safe place," Boseman said. "I didn't want to keep him in a hotel. I felt like I needed more of a stable environment."
She said she also pays $10 an hour to Kostrzewa's teen-aged daughter for babysitting.