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Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock officially off the hook for public corruption charges

‘There’s a difference between mistakes and crimes,’ Schock said in March after a deal with prosecutors was approved.

Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock on March 6 after the agreement to defer prosecution was reached.
Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock talks to reporters in March at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after the agreement to defer prosecution was reached.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Aaron Schock, the former Republican congressman from Peoria, will walk away from a public corruption case with no conviction, a federal judge ruled Wednesday at a hearing lasting just a few minutes.

Schock was not required to attend the hearing at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, and he did not.

Schock resigned in 2015 under a cloud of suspicion surrounding tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements for his personal vehicle and a gaudy congressional office redecoration.

A 2016 indictment accused Schock of improperly using campaign and government funds for cars, mileage reimbursements, interior decorating, a charter plane flight to a Bears game and sports tickets he resold for profit.

Schock struck a deal with prosecutors in March, which put his case on hold for six months during which he was required to meet certain conditions and remain under court supervision.

That probationary period ended Wednesday, with U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly ordering the indictment dismissed.

Afterward, neither Schock’s attorney nor prosecutors would discuss the case. Calls later to offices of both Schock’s lawyers and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago were not immediately returned.

That deal reached in March required Schock to repay $67,956 to his campaign committees and also pay outstanding taxes due from the years 2010 through 2015.

The agreement also includes Schock’s admission that he sought reimbursement for mileage without documentation that led to reimbursements “that exceeded the number of miles actually driven” and that he resold tickets for events like the World Series and the Super Bowl for a profit.

In doing so, he made $42,375 that he did not report on his federal income tax returns for the six years he spent in office.

[READ THE AGREEMENT]

The agreement and subsequent dismissal of charges marks a rare and stunning victory for Schock. Although he admitted to the above accusations, Schock did not plead guilty to any criminal offenses.

“There’s a difference between mistakes and crimes,” Schock said in March after the agreement was approved.

Contributing: Jon Seidel