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Dow Chemical says mistakenly paid for $719,923 in CEO bills

* Dow Chemical filing blames ‘failure of current policies’

* Dow says CEO wrote personal check to cover the expenses

NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - Dow Chemical Co DOW.N paid for $719,923 of its chief executive's personal expenses over the course of four years, an error that has since been rectified, the company said in a regulatory filing.

An internal audit at the largest U.S. chemical maker found that “shortcomings in record-keeping and processing, as well as a failure of current policies and procedures” led to the error.

Andrew Liveris, who has been CEO since 2006, immediately wrote a personal check for the entire amount when he was told of the error, Dow said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

Dow said it has changed the way it handles expenses to avoid the mistake happening again.

Dow said its customer events department failed to charge Liveris for certain expenses he incurred during company-related meetings.

Dow declined to list specific items that contributed to the $719,923 figure.

“This was a simple case of administrative error, where the expenses were misallocated and upon discovering this, Mr. Liveris immediately wished to pay off the expenses in full,” said Dow spokesman Declan Kelly.

Liveris took home roughly $21.3 million in total compensation for 2010. That includes a base salary of $1.7 million and stock awards valued at $5.7 million when they were granted.

The Midland, Michigan-based company also paid $19,906 for Liveris’ automobile, $134,068 for his use of a private company jet and $14,438 for his home security system.

The company’s board of directors, of which Liveris is chairman, requires him to use the company jet and other services for his personal safety.

The story was first reported by the website www.footnoted.com. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Carol Bishopric)

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