|Congressman Aaron Schock interviewed by ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny|
A few days ago I reported on the “Downton Abbey” themed congressional office of GOP Congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois.
At the time, it was a bit of a light-hearted story as gay rumors have followed the congressman for years. So, having a bright red, “Downton Abbey” inspired office seemed right up the young legislator’s alley.
Now – however – after all the attention, it seems Schock has been hit with an ethics violation inquiry as it seems he’s spent a LOT of money on decorating his office and it seems to be coming out of the taxpayer’s pocket. In addition, his decorator said he offered her services for free which is considered a violation in itself.
In December 2009 he paid $7,400 to an Illinois design/build firm called KBL Design Center, and then another $21,000 to a hardwood floor company, a building contractor and company called Old World Granite and Marble that apparently makes high-end countertops. He then spent $6,600 on an Illinois painting contractor.
Two months later, Schock spent $79,061 on furniture purchases, including $5,123 from a company called Mulnix Industries that specializes in hardwood podiums.
Around the same time, Schock spent more than $4,000 with a fine-leather furniture company called Garrett Leather.
The Washington Post story quoted the designer of Schock’s Capitol Hill office as saying she provided her design services to Schock for free. That led the liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to file a complaint Tuesday with the House alleging that Schock may have received an improper gift.
Schock says he paid his decorator last time she worked for him, and he will again.
And, he denies having ever seen a single episode of “Downton Abbey.”
Riiiiiiiiiiight. That’s why his offices were decorated in this bold manner.