A report released Tuesday reveals that Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minneapolis) is now under investigation for numerous campaign finance violations.
The report, sent to Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) by the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (CFB), confirms that there is “probable cause” against Omar and her state legislature campaign committee for at least three separate violations, which are now being investigated.
In August, Drazkowski filed numerous complaints against Omar for her alleged finance violations, including a complaint that accused her of using campaign funds to pay legal fees related to her divorce as well as the acceptance of speaker fees from local community colleges that lobby at the state capitol.
Drazkowski has now made public the report he received from the CFB, which suggests that while the legal fees paid by the Neighbors for Ilhan committee do not appear to have benefited Omar in her divorce proceedings, there is reason to believe that she may have personally benefited from “immigration and accounting services.”
“The Omar committee has submitted information suggesting that the payment to the Kjellberg Law Office was not for services related to Rep. Omar’s dissolution,” the report states. “The information submitted, however, does not establish that the procured immigration and accounting services benefited the campaign committee rather than Rep. Omar personally.”
The report, prepared by CFB Chair Carolyn Flynn, concludes that there is “probable cause” to believe that the “payment to the Kjellberg Law Office may have constituted the use of committee funds for personal use.” Flynn also takes issue with the Omar campaign’s “classification” of the payment as a “noncampaign disbursement,” and expresses concern with the “timing and completeness” of the information provided by Omar.
Drazkowski said that he was “very pleased” to learn of the investigation, saying Omar has demonstrated a “troubling pattern of state law violations in this area.”
“The more we dig, the more problems we find,” he continued, announcing that he filed an additional complaint Tuesday that accuses Omar of using campaign funds for personal travel.
“I’m very pleased the Board is conducting an investigation, as I believe the evidence will prove Representative Omar has blatantly misused taxpayer resources for personal gain, and my new complaint will only bring forward more violations of the same law,” Drazkowski concluded. “What we are seeing before our eyes is a serial violator of our laws.”
Omar, who is running against Republican Jennifer Zielinski in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District, has yet to offer any response to Drazkowski’s claims.
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