U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is the target of an ethics complaint over supposedly having his office redecorated for free by the same designer who worked on former Congressman Aaron Schock's office.
The American Democracy Legal Fund, a Democrat-aligned legal group, alleges in its complaint to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics that Kirk accepted free decorating services from Annie Brahler. Brahler was behind the redesign of Schock's office, and when it was discovered Schock hadn't paid her, it began months of allegations against Schock which led to his resignation.
ADLF spokesman Mary Jennings says accepting such services for free would qualify as an improper gift.
Click here for summary
"If you do not reimburse for those expenses and they're more than $50, and you knowingly accept those gifts, that's a violation of the Senate ethics rules," Jennings said.
The complaint claims Kirk accepted free consultation from Brahler, while attributing the bulk of the work to his campaign finance director, Caryn Eggeraat, for a $1,238 redesign of his office. Eggeraat was reimbursed, while Brahler wasn't.
The redecoration was done in 2012, after Kirk suffered a stroke which kept him out of the Senate for nearly a year.
Jennings says if Kirk is found to have violated ethics rules, the punishment is up to the Senate committee, though he'll likely be compelled to pay for Brahler's services.
Kirk campaign manager Kevin Artl called the complaint "a continuation of partisan attacks by DC insiders and special interest groups on Senator Kirk. The simple truth is that Senator Kirk did not spend a single dime of taxpayer funds on his office and that every single expenditure was fully disclosed and properly reported."