What went wrong? It all started with Downton Abbey-inspired décor


In February, Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock made headlines for using his Member Representational Allowance, a taxpayer funded account, to redecorate his office based on the style of the PBS show Downton Abbey. After receiving national attention for his new office décor, Rep. Schock repaid the federal government $35,000 from his personal funds.

On February 28, the Office of Congressional Ethics opened an investigation of Schock’s spending and recordkeeping. Between January 2010 and July 2014, Schock billed the federal government for mileage reimbursement for 123,131 miles on his personal car. During the same time period, he billed his campaign account and leadership PAC for 49,388 miles. Although Schock sought mileage reimbursement for 172,520 miles, the odometer showed 81,860 miles when he sold his personal vehicle in 2014. According to public records, Schock only had one vehicle registered in his name. Schock also recently reimbursed the federal government more than $1,200 for a private plane to a Chicago Bears football game, which he paid for out of his office account.

On March 17, Schock announced his resignation amid questions about these expenses and reimbursements. The Ethics Committee investigation will cease with Schock’s resignation. However, federal law enforcement can still investigate his actions.

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