Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) announced his resignation today that will take effect on March 31, or in two weeks. Schock’s resignation comes as the congressman was embroiled in controversy over misuse of public funds. The allegations ranged from office decorations to mileage reimbursements.
Oddly enough, this whole ordeal began due to the Washington Post Style section and Downton Abbey. The Washington Post’s Ben Tarris popped into Rep. Schock’s office and a secretary showed him around and told him that the office was re-decorated in the style of Downton Abbey. Tarris also took pictures of the office and this was eventually found out by the Schock’s communications director. The Schock office tried to persuade Tarris into dropping his story, but Tarris refused and wrote an article about it. The story went viral and gained the attention of politicians and the media. It was eventually revealed that the redecoration of the office most likely broke federal spending rules. Eventually, Schock’s communications director resigned.
As time went on, there were more and more reports that Schock may have violated federal spending rules. Yesterday, Politico reported how Schock may have lied about the amount of miles he drove on his car for reimbursement and gotten more than $50,000 than he should have. There were also reports saying that the Office of Congressional Ethics had reached out to Schock’s associates in advance of a potential ethics investigation.
Schock had not told House leadership of his decision, but they have been praising him in light of his resignation. Speaker Boehner praised Schock’s time in public service and wished him well.
Schock’s full statement:
Today, I am announcing my resignation as a Member of the United States House of Representatives effective March 31st.
I do this with a heavy heart. Serving the people of the 18th District is the highest and greatest honor I have had in my life. I thank them for their faith in electing me and letting me represent their interests in Washington. I have given them my all over the last six years. I have traveled to all corners of the District to meet with the people I’ve been fortunate to be able to call my friends and neighbors.
But the constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficultfor me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself.
I have always sought to do what’s best for my constituents and I thank them for the opportunity to serve.