Schock donor sues ex-US congressman seeking reimbursement

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A Chicago lawyer who donated $500 to former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's campaign is suing for reimbursement following his resignation in March amid accusations of fraud and improper enrichment.

Howard Foster filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Chicago seeking repayment of all contributions to Schock's campaign. Foster wants to make it a class-action suit although he is currently the only plaintiff.

The Justice Department is investigating the 33-year-old Schock's congressional expenses and business deals following reports of lavish spending and improper mileage reimbursement.

The lawsuit says Foster donated to Schock because he thought he "was ethical, (and) a breath of fresh air," but that Schock instead engaged in "political sleaze for personal gain."

A Schock spokesman declined comment.

A federal election law expert says the federal lawsuit against Schock faces some impediments.

Richard Hasen (HA'-sun) is a law professor at the University of California-Irvine. He doesn't recall ever seeing such a lawsuit. He says a political contribution is considered a gift and givers have little say over how their generosity is used.

And Hasen says the money went to campaign committees, not the candidate. The lawsuit addresses that by declaring Schock directed those committees and signed fundraising letters.

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