A grand jury took testimony Wednesday as part of a federal investigation into former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock's expenses.
The 33-year-old Peoria Republican resigned from Congress in March following months of media reports about lavish office and political spending, including improper mileage reimbursements, trips on donors' aircraft and office decorations in the style of the TV show "Downton Abbey."
Benjamin Cole, Schock's former communications director, said he answered questions from the grand jury in Springfield for two hours on Wednesday.
Cole said the grand jury told him afterward he would no longer be needed to testify. Cole said he is cooperating with federal prosecutors.
The Justice Department has issued subpoenas to at least half a dozen current and former Schock staffers as it examines his expense accounts, campaign spending and relationships with donors. Schock's resignation followed revelations over six weeks about his business deals and spending. Congressional ethics investigators had begun probing Schock's conduct in the days before his announcement.
Sharon Paul, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office, said she would neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.
A special primary election to replace Schock is scheduled for July 7, with a special general election to follow Sept. 10.
In a separate legal matter, a contributor to Schock has filed suit against him, seeking to force the repayment of millions of dollars in campaign contributions. That person gave $500 to Schock but seeks class-action status for the complaint.