Prosecutors have agreed to drop all charges against former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock as part of a deal that requires the 37-year-old to pay thousands of dollars back to his campaign and the Internal Revenue Service.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly approved the deal in the corruption case Wednesday in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported.
To keep his end of the deferred prosecution agreement, Schock will have to repay $42,375 to the IRS and $67,956 to his congressional campaign fund. As part of the deal, Schock’s campaign committee pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance reporting charge, according to court records.
“It should not have taken four years, two U.S. attorney’s offices, three judges and millions of dollars in costs to the taxpayers and myself to come to this conclusion,” Schock said in the statement. “Justice wielded irresponsibly is wrong, and it puts our constitutional rights at risk.”
Schock said he made mistakes.
“I have stated consistently and constantly that mistakes were made in the handling of my campaign and congressional offices, and I have acknowledged responsibility for that — but mistakes are not crimes,” he said in the statement.
Questions about Schock’s spending came when an aide tried to cover up that he paid an Illinois designer to decorate his office in what looked like a “Downton Abbey” theme, though Schock said he hadn’t seen the TV show. Schock resigned on March 31, 2015, after federal inquiries into possible misuse of federal and campaign dollars.
In 2016, prosecutors filed a 24-count indictment that accused the former Peoria congressman of wire fraud, falsifying Federal Election Commission filings, mail fraud, theft of government funds, and making false statements on a tax return. Each felony carried a multi-year prison sentence.