Disgraced former Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock pleaded not guilty to 24 felony counts alleging he misused campaign and taxpayer dollars to fund his extravagant lifestyle following his arraignment Monday.
Schock, once seen as a rising star in the Republican party, was indicted in November after a year-long criminal investigation by the Department of Justice into his use of federal funds.
His legal woes began after it was discovered he spent roughly $40,000 in taxpayer dollars, which he later reimbursed, ornately remodeling his Capitol Hill office in the fashion of the PBS hit television series “Downton Abbey.”
It was later uncovered there were multiple instances of questionable federal spending – including funds being spent to take staffers and interns to a Katy Perry Concert, improper car mileage reimbursements and chartering private planes – a clear violation of the Congressional Rules of Conduct.
Schock stepped down from Congress in May, having released a statement saying the media attention surrounding the scandal was distracting him from serving his constituents.
The trial date is set for Feb. 7, 2017, but could be pushed back at the request of his attorneys, Politico reports.
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