Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock billed taxpayers more than $10,000 on private flights last fall that included a trip to a Chicago Bears football game, The Associated Press has learned.
The flights were expensed to Schock's House office account and don't include about $40,000 in additional trips previously taken on donors' planes. Schock paid for those out of his office expenses or campaign funds.
Government expense records show a $10,802 expense last November for "commercial transportation" to Keith Siilats, a New York-based pilot. Siilats told the AP in an interview last month that he's flown Schock at least three times and attended the game with the congressman.
Schock, a 33-year-old Republican representing the Peoria and Springfield areas, had been under scrutiny for using congressional funds to redecorate his Capitol Hill office in the style of the TV show "Downton Abbey."
The AP detailed Schock's other expenses -- including the use of private planes and concert tickets -- since the decorations were first reported by The Washington Post. An AP review identified at least a dozen flights on contributors' planes since mid-2011, tracking Schock's reliance on the aircraft partly through the congressman's pictures uploaded to his Instagram account.
A spokesman for Schock did not immediately comment Monday on the trip. Schock has told the AP he travels frequently throughout his district "to stay connected with my constituents."
Lawmakers can generally use office funds for private flights, a change since the House updated its rules in January 2013. Those earlier rules prohibited lawmakers from using office accounts to pay for flights on private aircraft, allowing payments only for federally licensed charter and commercial flights.
The Bears trip was first reported Sunday by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Last week, Schock's office said the congressman personally reimbursed $40,000 from his personal checking account for his office redecorations, saying that Schock was making good on a previous pledge to do so.
A liberal-leaning group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, had requested an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics, an outside panel that reviews ethics complaints against House members.