Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed its third ethics complaint in less than a month against Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL). CREW asked the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to investigate whether Rep. Schock broke House rules in light of new evidence that the congressman improperly used taxpayer money and campaign funds to rent private, non-charter flights for travel.
Read CREW's complaint against Rep. Schock.
Recent news reports revealed Rep. Schock used funds from his taxpayer-funded congressional office and campaign funds to pay two companies to rent non-commercial, non-charter aircraft. Lobair, LLC was paid nearly $17,000 from 2012 to 2014. Federal Aviation Administration records show Lobair is not a commercial charter service and the single plane it owns is not registered for commercial use. Rep. Schock’s leadership political action committee and congressional office also paid nearly $27,000 to D & B Jet, Inc. between 2011 and 2012. FAA records list no registration for D & B Jet as a commercial or charter aircraft. The owner of D & B Jet, Darren R. Frye, is a major contributor to Rep. Schock’s campaigns.
“Where there is smoke, there is usually fire, and Rep. Schock’s finances are starting to look like a five-alarm inferno,” said CREW Interim Executive Director Anne Weismann. “If there were any doubt the OCE should be conducting a full investigation of the congressman’s reckless spending, CREW’s most recent complaint puts it to rest.”
House Rule 23 generally prohibits members from using personal, campaign, or official funds to pay for flights on non-commercial aircraft. The rule was amended in 2013 to allow members to pay for charter flights with personal or official funds. By using campaign and official funds to pay for flights on non-commercial aircraft that were not registered as charter flights, Rep. Schock appears to have violated Rule 23.
CREW’s complaint is the third it has filed against Rep. Schock in February. CREW’s first complaint alleged Rep. Schock broke House gift rules by accepting free interior design work in his congressional office and using campaign funds to pay for office furniture. The second complaint alleged Rep. Schock broke House gift rules by selling his home to a campaign donor for a price well above its value.
“The House’s prohibition against private plane rides was put in place after the excesses of the Abramoff scandal,” continued Ms. Weismann. “If the OCE fails to hold Rep. Schock accountable for his corrupt financial relationship with his donors, it will send the signal that the abuses of that era are back.”