Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) will resign from his Congressional office amid controversy concerning his alleged violations of campaign finance laws and ethics rules, reported Politico.
“The constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself,” said Schock in a statement yesterday. “I have always sought to do what’s best for my constituents and I thank them for the opportunity to serve.”
The questions Schock mentions concern the accusations that he misused campaign funds and his government-funded account. The controversy began when the Washington Post reported that he redecorated his office to mimic the set of the television show “Downton Abbey.” This led many to questioning how he paid for the redecoration.
Schock is also under scrutiny for spending over $100,000 on travel and leisure activities includings vacations, Super Bowl tickets, Country Music Awards entry, and Katy Perry concert tickets. He would have his staffers write the trips off as official business. He also billed massages, cigars, and clothing accessories as campaign expenses.
Schock overcharged the federal government for mileage reimbursements on his 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe. He charged the government for 172,519 miles when the vehicle had only 81,860 miles. However, these accusations are just the tip of the iceberg. Politico lists numerous other misdeeds committed by Schock.
The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) opened an investigation into Schock’s ludicrous spending. However, Schock’s resignation would save him from such an investigation because the OCE’s jurisdiction is only over congressional members.
A United States politician is being accused of wasting taxpayer money and violating campaign finance laws. However, the OCE is prevented to do anything about it. Although the ethics committee can’t continue the investigation after the resignation, federal law enforcement can still pursue a case.