CHICAGO (AP) — Former Congressman Aaron Schock spent more than $1 million from his campaign account over the past three months to pay for lawyers as federal authorities investigate his use of political and taxpayer funds.
A campaign finance report released Wednesday by the Federal Election Commission also shows the Peoria Republican spent thousands of dollars on fundraising trips and events in the months after resigning, even as he was refunding money to donors and selling off campaign vehicles.
Schock stepped down in March amid mounting scrutiny of his spending, including redecorating his office in the style of TV’s “Downton Abbey.” Among media reports of such spending were Associated Press investigations of real estate deals, air travel and entertainment, including trips and events he documented on social media accounts.
A federal grand jury has been hearing testimony from former members of Schock’s staff. Last month, FBI agents removed boxes and other items from his central Illinois campaign office.
According to the campaign finance report, Schock returned about $50,000 to campaign contributors between April and June, including party stalwarts such as Chicago investor Muneer Satter and businessman Sam Zell.
In May, Schock spent $22,080 on event space at The Little Nell, a five-star luxury hotel in Aspen, Colorado. The report also shows thousands of dollars were spent on meals at high-end restaurants and attributed to fundraising-related expenses. In April, he sold campaign vehicles for about $60,500.
Schock had $2.1 million in his campaign fund at the end of June, though the report states he owes almost $750,000 to the multi-national law firm Jones Day.
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