Aaron Schock Resigns After Series of Ethics Controversies

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) CREDIT: AP PHOTO/SETH PERLMAN
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) CREDIT: AP PHOTO/SETH PERLMAN

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) announced Tuesday that he will resign his House seat, becoming the second member of the Republican majority to resign in the first 100 days of the 114th Congress. The 33-year-old had just begun his fourth term and will resign as of March 31.

Six weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that Schock’s DC office had been renovated in the style of Downton Abbey — and that the designer was not charging him for her services. At the time, ThinkProgress spoke with a good government group which noted that this donation of services from a professional decorator could well violate both the spirit and letter of the House gift rules. After a watchdog organization filed an ethics complaint, Schock announced that he would pay for her work out of his own pocket.

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But since then, a lengthy series of other controversies has followed. Schock’s press secretary resigned after ThinkProgress and BuzzFeed reported on a series of racially charged Facebook posts. The Associated Press examined Schock’s Instagram photos and discovered the Congressman had received more than $40,000 worth of flights on donors’ private planes. Additional revelations by other media outlets followed, chronicling ethically-questionable relationships with donors, extensive self-reimbursement, and undisclosed travel for himself and companions. Schock brought in a crisis communications team and a former Federal Election Commissioner and, last week, said that he hoped he had not violated the law.

Schock said in a statement Tuesday that “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.”