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Father: Schock Might Have Been 'A Little Careless,' But Most Allegations 'Lies And Innuendos'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's father said the congressman is a "broken" man, after announcing he'll resign from Congress at the end of the month, in light of a growing scandal over his business deals, and possible misuse of taxpayer and campaign funds.

Dr. Richard Schock said he spoke with his son Tuesday, when the congressman announced his resignation, effective March 31.

"Ten years from now, whatever he's doing, he'll be successful at, I'll promise you that. Two years from now he'll be successful, if he's not in jail," the elder Shock said of his son.

Schock, a four-term Peoria Republican, has been dogged by snowballing questions about his use of government and campaign funds; from a $40,000 office makeover, to using Congressional and campaign funds for concerts, massages, and flights on private planes owned by campaign donors.

The latest revelation was questions about seeking reimbursement for roughly 170,000 miles on his personal vehicle from January 2010 through July 2014, for a vehicle that had only 80,000 miles on the odometer when he sold it in July 2014. CBS 2's Brad Edwards has been told that vehicle is now in the possession of Richard Schock.

Richard Schock acknowledged his son might not have filed the proper paperwork for all of his expenses, but he said most of the allegations against him are false.

"He's had a good run, he's done a lot of good, he has helped a lot of people," he said. "Everybody I talk to still supports him, and prays for him, and hopes he comes through this. He's going through a very tough time right now, because in his heart he's always wanted to do what was right and what was good, and got a little careless."

When CBS 2's Brad Edwards and another reporter approached Dr. Richard Schock to discuss his son's resignation, he at first told them to leave his house in Peoria, but then completely opened up.

"He was broken. He was broken," the elder Schock said of his son. "They're blaming people he's invested with for buying him off, and this hurts, because most of it is lies and innuendos."

He said he believes his son has been attacked because he doesn't fit the stereotypical mold of a politician.

"What this is really about is that Aaron has been very successful. Aaron is a very hard worker. Aaron is very popular. Aaron is a little different. He wears stylish clothing, and yet he's not gay … and he's not married. … and he's not running around with women," he said. "Everybody's throwing up their arms. They can't figure out Aaron. So he must be crooked. So attack him. Bring him down, because he doesn't fit into our picture."

Schock's departure from Congress avoids an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, but Kent College of Law professor Richard Kling said Schock still could be targeted by criminal investigators at the federal or state levels.

"We've had so many political figures who end up resigning before they end up getting indicted. Some, we've had the experience that they end up resigning after they get indicted," he said. "But realistically, with the type of allegations that are being reported, it would not surprise me if he was concerned about federal investigations."


Former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins, who led the team that successfully prosecuted former Gov. George Ryan on corruption charges, said it's likely federal investigators are taking a look at some of Schock's reported dealings.

"It appears that Mr. Schock has taken a number of steps to try to reimburse the funds, and otherwise try to correct mistakes, and so a defense that may be playing out here is that there were inadvertent mistakes made, and when they were revealed, he took swift action to reimburse the funds," he said.

On the other hand, Collins said that also can be viewed as tantamount to a confession to wrongdoing, whether deliberate or inadvertent.

The congressman's father also blamed the increased rancor in politics for his son's downfall.

"It's the viciousness of our country right now; Not only on the liberal side, but on the conservative side. There's a viciousness,"

Richard Schock said he was surprised his son decided to step down.

"Because he's a fighter. But it's not about him anymore. It's about me, and it's about a lot of his friends, a lot of his supporters, and they're all being attacked now," he said.

He said a lot of "very good upstanding" people have been attacked because of the questions about his son's expenses, and the congressman didn't want them dragged into court.

"If they are going to convict him on paperwork, they're going to convict him, and that's their privilege. If it's the law, and he broke the law, and they want to convict him on that, fine," he said. "But he has done a lot of good in his life, and it hurts when people overlook all the good he's done, because of some of the variances in paperwork."

Over the past several weeks, Schock has been besieged by questions about his use of taxpayer dollars and campaign cash.

Last month, a photo of a $40,000 "Downton Abbey" redo of his Capitol Hill office led to an ethics charge by an independent group.

That was followed by revelations that he billed taxpayers $1,200 for a charter flight to a Bears game at Soldier Field, which he repaid once word of it got out. But there was another $14,000 in private flights last fall on top of $40,000 worth of travel on planes owned by campaign donors.

Earlier this month, Schock defended a recent trip to New York last September, connected to a visit by the prime minister of India. Schock brought along ten staffers, all on the taxpayer dime, and he said he was glad his staff could be part of an historic event. He said the trip was official business.

Schock also has faced questions about a shell company linked to the him. The company paid a political donor $750,000 last year to purchase a warehouse in Peoria, and then took out a $600,000 mortgage from a local bank run by other donors.

Donors also built, sold, and financed a home Schock owned in suburban Peoria, and were involved in the sale of a Peoria apartment complex in which he invests.

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