CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s father said the congressman is a “broken” man, after announcing he’ll resign from Congress at the end of the month, in light of a growing scandal over his business deals, and possible misuse of taxpayer and campaign funds.
Dr. Richard Schock said he spoke with his son Tuesday, when the congressman announced his resignation, effective March 31.
“Ten years from now, whatever he’s doing, he’ll be successful at, I’ll promise you that. Two years from now he’ll be successful, if he’s not in jail,” the elder Shock said of his son.
Schock, a four-term Peoria Republican, has been dogged by snowballing questions about his use of government and campaign funds; from a $40,000 office makeover, to using Congressional and campaign funds for concerts, massages, and flights on private planes owned by campaign donors.
The latest revelation was questions about seeking reimbursement for roughly 170,000 miles on his personal vehicle from January 2010 through July 2014, for a vehicle that had only 80,000 miles on the odometer when he sold it in July 2014. CBS 2’s Brad Edwards has been told that vehicle is now in the possession of Richard Schock.
Richard Schock acknowledged his son might not have filed the proper paperwork for all of his expenses, but he said most of the allegations against him are false.
“He’s had a good run, he’s done a lot of good, he has helped a lot of people,” he said. “Everybody I talk to still supports him, and prays for him, and hopes he comes through this. He’s going through a very tough time right now, because in his heart he’s always wanted to do what was right and what was good, and got a little careless.”
When CBS 2’s Brad Edwards and another reporter approached Dr. Richard Schock to discuss his son’s resignation, he at first told them to leave his house in Peoria, but then completely opened up.
“He was broken. He was broken,” the elder Schock said of his son. “They’re blaming people he’s invested with for buying him off, and this hurts, because most of it is lies and innuendos.”
He said he believes his son has been attacked because he doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold of a politician.
“What this is really about is that Aaron has been very successful. Aaron is a very hard worker. Aaron is very popular. Aaron is a little different. He wears stylish clothing, and yet he’s not gay … and he’s not married. … and he’s not running around with women,” he said. “Everybody’s throwing up their arms. They can’t figure out Aaron. So he must be crooked. So attack him. Bring him down, because he doesn’t fit into our picture.”
Schock’s departure from Congress avoids an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, but Kent College of Law professor Richard Kling said Schock still could be targeted by criminal investigators at the federal or state levels.
“We’ve had so many political figures who end up resigning before they end up getting indicted. Some, we’ve had the experience that they end up resigning after they get indicted,” he said. “But realistically, with the type of allegations that are being reported, it would not surprise me if he was concerned about federal investigations.”