Minnesota officials are demanding Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) pay back thousands of dollars in campaign funding that she reportedly misused.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board came to a decision on Thursday, saying that she used the money for personal expenses and out-of-state trips.
According to the Associated Press report, the representative must pay back $500 penalty to the state for using the money for a trip to Florida and $3,500 to her campaign committee.
She also used the money to travel to Boston for a speech, Chicago to accept an award, and Washington D.C. to pay for a hotel to attend a conference.
As IJR Red previously reported, Minnesota Republican State Rep. Steve Drazkowski had originally filed the complaints after he observed her repeated offenses.
“I had observed a long pattern,” Drazkowski said to Sinclair in an interview. “Representative Omar hasn’t followed the law. She’s repeatedly trampled on the laws of the state in a variety of areas, and gotten by with it.”
He also pointed out that many were afraid to speak out against the representative because of her background.
“There’s a political fear that people have,” Drazkowski added, “of being called a name, being called a bigot, being called racist, being called Islamophobic.”
The ruling states that Omar also used campaign funds for personal expenses — $1,500 to pay off her tax returns and $2,250 to law firms.
State law says that travel by lawmakers must be related to serving in office if campaign funds are used, yet Omar violated that law multiple times for personal trips. The representative’s campaign said that Omar is “glad this process is complete” and that she will comply with the board.
However, Drazkowski is not satisfied with the report, saying that it provides “no reassurance to Minnesotans,” and that it “raises even more troubling questions.”