U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., resigned Tuesday amid questions about his spending of taxpayer and campaign dollars. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, March 17 (UPI) -- Embattled U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., announced Tuesday he is resigning from Congress amid questions about his use of taxpayer dollars.
The 33-year-old said his resignation is effective March 31, Politico first reported.
"I do this with a heavy heart. Serving the people of the 18th District is the highest and greatest honor I have had in my life. I thank them for their faith in electing me and letting me represent their interests in Washington. I have given them my all over the last six years. I have traveled to all corners of the district to meet with the people I've been fortunate to be able to call my friends and neighbors," Schock said in a statement.
"But 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. I have always sought to do what's best for my constituents and I thank them for the opportunity to serve," he said.
Schock has come under fire in recent years for allegedly violating ethics rules. In 2012 the House Ethics Committee investigated him for a $25,000 donation to his Super PAC from a political action committee controlled by then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
The Federal Election Commission questioned whether Schock violated rules barring elected officials from soliciting more than $5,000 for Super PACs.
The Office of Congressional Ethics recently began questioning people who worked for Schock and others who know him about his spending of campaign and taxpayer dollars. He has been accused of keeping poor accounting records and spending lavishly.
Schock allegedly failed to disclose multiple trips out of the country and had to repay a private pilot for a trip he took for a Chicago Bears football game.
He also repaid the government $40,000 for lavishly decorating his Washington, D.C., office in the style of PBS television drama Downton Abbey.