Washington watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics filed an ethics complaint Tuesday to investigate Rep. Aaron Schock after it was found the Illinois congressman may have used campaign funding to decorate his congressional offices.
Rep. Schock just recently redesigned his Capitol Hill congressional office with bright red walls and luxurious finishes such as a crystal chandelier and gold sconces, the Washington Post reported.
The lavish look was inspired by the PBS hit show “Downton Abbey,” Schock’s decorator told the Washington Post.
Anne Brahler, a downstate Illinois interior decorator, told the publication she was not paid for her services, and this was not the first time she designed Schock’s congressional office.
Accepting “gifts”, which are defined by the House as any item or service having monetary value, is something that is strictly prohibited by law.
“Perhaps it’s not totally surprising that the same congressman who spent campaign money on P90X workout DVDs wanted to create a more picturesque setting in which to be photographed, but the rules clearly require him to pay for those renovations himself,” CREW’s executive director Anne Weismann said in a statement. “Again and again, Rep. Schock’s seeming obsession with his image impedes his ability to conduct himself in ethical manner.”
What makes the office’s “Downton Abbey” theme even more interesting is Congressman Schock repeatedly voted to end federal funding for PBS. His spokesman has told reporters he is not a “Downton Abbey” fan.
Rep. Schock could not immediately be reached for comment.