Caught in a trap between misspending taxpayer dollars and receiving improper gifts, U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, a Republican from Illinois, now finds himself in big trouble over an elaborately decorated office.
After a Washington Post story unveiled some red flags surrounding Schock’s renovations, an investigation prompted by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics revealed that the congressman spent more than $100,000 to furnish his Capitol Hill suite, mimicking the ornate design of the television show Downton Abbey. While these expenses are not necessarily illegal, Rep. Schock is facing negative attention because the renovation expenditures came out of a taxpayer-funded office account.
But, unlawful activity may also be involved, which is why the citizen group filed a complaint with the House in the first place. House rules prohibit members from using “outside private donations, funds, campaign contributions, or in-kind services” to pay for office expenses. According to the Washington Post, interior designer Annie Brahler admitted to providing her services for free, suggesting that Schock broke the law by receiving an improper gift.
Having already uncovered some irresponsibility surrounding his office revocation, continued review of Schock’s actions may bring about punishment from the House Committee on Ethics.