State Watch

Prosecutors drop charges against former Rep. Aaron Schock

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that they would defer prosecuting former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) in return for an agreement that he repay more than $100,000 in misappropriated funds.

Prosecutors said Schock had agreed to repay $42,000 to the IRS and $68,000 to his campaign account. Instead of facing felony charges, Schock’s campaign committee would agree to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of improperly reporting expenses and pay a fine of $26,553.

{mosads}The Chicago Tribune first reported the surprise developments Wednesday morning.

If Schock complies with the agreement, prosecutors would dismiss the rest of the charges in six months, said Joseph Fitzpatrick, an assistant U.S. attorney from the Northern District of Illinois.

“We conducted a thorough review of the case before proceeding with today’s agreement,” Fitzpatrick said in an email.

Schock, 37, was elected to four terms in Congress representing a district that stretched from Springfield to Peoria. He was the youngest member of Congress when first elected in 2008, and was widely seen as a rising star before he was indicted.

He resigned from Congress a month after a Washington Post profile reported that he had decorated his congressional office in the style of the hit show “Downton Abbey” at taxpayer expense.

Schock also requested reimbursements, from both his campaign account and the federal government, for 170,000 miles he had driven in his personal Chevy Tahoe, more miles than the car actually had on its odometer.

Shock was charged with 24 cases of fraud, making false statements and theft of government funds. He pleaded not guilty to 22 charges after a judge dismissed two other counts. He faced trial on June 10 in Chicago.

The Supreme Court decided last month it would not hear his bid to get the cases thrown out.

The new agreement means Schock will not have to plead to any felony charges.

–Updated at 2:04 p.m. 

Tags Aaron Schock Chicago government reimbursement plea deal

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