PEORIA — Corruption charges against former GOP congressmen Aaron Schockhave been dropped, according to multiple media reports on Wednesday.
The Peoria Journal-Star reported that Schock plead to a misdemeanor charge that basically states he filled out paperwork wrong. The newspaper said nearly two dozen charges alleging corruption and mismanagement were dropped. Schock resigned his seat representing Peoria four years ago when the charges first came.
From the Journal-Star:
Schock, 38, will have to pay a $25,000 fine and abide by rules of his probation officer.
The term of his supervision is six months.
His plea isn’t typical for federal court. Instead of a straight conviction, Schock entered a program known as “pretrial diversion.”
Pretrial diversion is similar to the drug court programs in both Peoria and Tazewell counties. While Schock’s allegations didn’t involve drugs, the concepts are similar. The program allows a person, such as Schock, to have an “alternative to prosecution.” Basically, follow the rules of probation, abide by a set of restrictions and keep your nose clean for the set period of time and the conviction will get wiped from record.
Schock was indicted in November 2016 on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, making false statements, filing a false tax return, theft of government funds and falsification of Federal Election Commission filings, the newspaper reported.
The case had been a drama ever since.
From the Washington Post:
The case, though, was troubled from early on. In 2017, Schock’s attorneys alleged that investigators acted inappropriately in the case, including by exploring Schock’s sex life and whether he was gay. That same year, the lawyer for the House said that investigators had possibly committed a crime themselves when they had a staff member-turned-informant take materials from Schock’s district office.
The Justice Department last year replaced the prosecutors on the case, and Schock finally struck a deal with the new team from the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago. Fitzpatrick said the office “conducted a thorough review of the case before proceeding with today’s agreement.” U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly approved the agreement at a hearing Wednesday.