- Rep. Aaron Schock to Resign
- April 15, 2015
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
- On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) announced he will resign from Congress effective March 31.
In a statement released by Schock, the Peoria-based Congressman, who had endured a month-and-a-half of damaging stories, said, "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.”
Schock continued, "but the constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself."
For Schock the trouble started with a Washington Post story on the congressman's Downton Abbey-themed office, which has since spiraled into media investigations of Schock's spending and a slew of possible ethics violations.
The lavish office, Politico reported last month, was just the beginning: Schock reportedly employed a personal photographer, chartered private planes, and stayed in five-star hotels. It was also discovered that Schock sold his home to a donor for more money than it was worth. A National Journal public records review last week also determined that an outside group had paid for a companion of his to travel to India, in possible violation of House ethics rules.
The latest scandal to emerge is a Tuesday Politico report that Schock charged the government for about 90,000 more miles than he actually logged on his personal Chevy Tahoe. Though he was reimbursed for 170,000 miles, when he sold the car in July 2014, it only registered about 80,000 miles. The story was published shortly after the congressman's resignation announcement.
The ongoing investigations into Schock's spending weren't a definite death knell for his political future. The congressman has been a prolific fundraiser, and he has shared the wealth with Illinois Republicans, which locals believed would save him from an electoral backlash after news of his questionable spending.
Per Illinois law, the state's governor, Republican Bruce Rauner, has to order a special election to replace Schock within five days, which has to take place within 115 days of the order.