Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has been slapped with a fine by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board for campaign violations she committed during her tenure as a state representative.
Omar was elected to Congress in 2018. The disputed expenses were from 2016 and 2017.
The board ordered Omar to repay her campaign $3,469.23 for disallowed costs and to pay a $500 fine, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The board’s report focused on allegations made by Republican state Rep. Steve Drazkowski about money spent by the “Neighbors for Ilhan” committee.
Reax from GOP MN State Rep. Steve Drazkowski, whose complaints prompted MN State Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board investigation of @IlhanMN ‘s shady spending practices==> pic.twitter.com/nEDKwftxZQ
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) June 6, 2019
In his initial complaint, Drazkowski alleged that Omar illegally used $2,250 in campaign funds to pay a lawyer for her 2017 divorce.
The board did not see it that way.
Instead, it ruled that the fee was a reimbursement for work related to immigration and tax documents.
However, the board did rule that the $1,500 spent to fix an issue with Omar’s tax returns was not a valid campaign-related expense.
The board ordered that money returned to the campaign fund.
The board also demanded that Omar provide an explanation for the use of the funds related to her immigration and tax issues.
Drazkowski filed a second complaint, claiming that various trips taken by Omar, for which she charged her campaign account, were not valid expenses.
The trips he contested included one to a rally for a Boston City Council candidate; another to a girls’ leadership conference in Washington; one to a human rights luncheon in Chicago; and one to a fundraiser that supported the African Network of Southwest Florida.
Omar was ordered to repay the campaign for costs related to those trips.
Omar issued a statement saying she would comply with the findings.
“I’m glad this process is complete and that the Campaign Finance Board has come to a resolution on this matter,” she said, according to the Star-Tribune.
“We have been collaborative in this process and are glad the report showed that none of the money was used for personal use, as was initially alleged,” she added.
Drazkowski said in a statement that the results provide “no reassurance to Minnesotans.”
Read page 10, item 5 of the report. Rep Omar was married to Ahmed Elmi from 2009 to 2017. Is this federal tax fraud? https://t.co/0VHPxlsE5l
— Steve Drazkowski (@SteveDraz) June 6, 2019
“In fact, the report raises even more troubling questions. I look forward to the further disclosures by Rep. Omar and her campaign,” he said, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
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