Globe-Trotting GOP Rep. Aaron Schock Resigns Amid Spending Scandal
Over the course of his six-year career on Capitol Hill, Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock rode quite a dramatic arc, rocketing from rookie congressman to social media-savvy spotlight seeker and Republican power player by the tender age of 33.
But on Tuesday, the American public learned he had flamed out, brought down by a spending scandal of his own doing. Six short weeks undid the work of six years, after a Feb. 2 story on Schock in The Washington Post sparked an investigation into his use of taxpayer money, eventually leading to his resignation.
Schock announced he would leave office March 31, as CNN reported Tuesday afternoon:
The news marks the end of an embarrassing chapter for the former GOP rising star congressman known for his Instagram account and a memorable shirtless appearance on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.
The scandal surrounding the Illinois Republican’s spending practices has ballooned since a Washington Post profile of his whimsically-decorated office published last month raised initial questions about his finances.
Schock ended up paying back the government the $40,000 it cost to redecorate his office in the style of the popular PBS drama “Downton Abbey,” but the controversy didn’t stop there. The Illinois Republican later came under scrutiny for flights on private jets — including planes owned by key donors — concert tickets and other entertainment expenses. He’s also under fire for lapses in reporting some of his expenses
Among the other dismaying details about Schock’s publicity-friendly lifestyle, which ultimately didn’t do much to help his case, was his reported use of tax dollars to score tickets to a sold-out Katy Perry concert.
In his resignation statement, Schock said he was vacating his seat “with a heavy heart.”
–Posted by Kasia Anderson