`Downton Abbey` US congressman resigns: report
A Republican who earned criticism for flamboyantly redesigning his office in "Downton Abbey" style abruptly resigned Tuesday from Congress amid questions about lavishing public funds, Politico reported.
Washington: A Republican who earned criticism for flamboyantly redesigning his office in "Downton Abbey" style abruptly resigned Tuesday from Congress amid questions about lavishing public funds, Politico reported.
Aaron Schock, 33, had been considered a rising star in the Republican Party but suddenly quit after he was confronted by the Washington news outlet about charging tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements to the federal government and his campaign.
Schock has also been under fire for spending thousands of dollars from his office budget for renovating his congressional suite to make it resemble something out of the "Downton Abbey" English period drama, which is hugely popular in the United States.
"The constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself," Schock said in a statement to Politico.
According to an investigation by Politico, Schock had filed for reimbursement of 172,520 miles on his personal sport-utility vehicle between January 10 and July 2014 even though he signed documents that certified the vehicle traveled less than half that distance.
The congressman repaid the government $40,000 in the past month, according to Politico.
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said he was "stunned" by his fellow Illinois lawmaker`s sudden resignation, but added his departure "suggests that many of the allegations had substance behind them."
The Office of Congressional Ethics reportedly had opened an investigation of Schock last month. He leaves his House seat on March 31.