Hagedorn is one of four House members under investigation. His case was investigated by the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics, which found that there was substantial reason to believe that a violation had occurred, Roll Call reported. The Office of Congressional Ethics is a fact-finding office and, unlike the Ethics Committee, cannot discipline members or issue subpoenas.
The other three members under investigation are Republicans Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and Alex X. Mooney of West Virginia, and Democrat Tom Malinowski of New Jersey.
The Hagedorn investigation stems from large expenditures from his office on taxpayer-funded constituent mailings. An investigation by the Minnesota Reformer found that money for the mailings went to two firms, both of which had connections with Hagedorn's office.
One was part-owned by a part-time staffer. The other had ties to Hagedorn's then-chief of staff, Peter Su. Su was also connected to the part-time staffer through their work for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Hagedorn fired Su.
Hagedorn denied being aware of the spending irregularities, saying the "relatively routine duties" had been delegated to his chief of staff. But he acknowledged responsibility for oversight of his office, and pledged to make "any necessary management improvements."
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In the midst of the controversy ahead of the 2020 election, Hagedorn hired Elliot Berke, a prominent Republican attorney, who conducted an internal review that stated that Hagedorn took immediate action once he became aware of the problem.
At the conclusion of the review, Hagedorn expressed the hope of putting the controversy behind him.
"Congressman Hagedorn personally self-reported this matter to the Ethics Committee last year and will continue working with it to bring it to an appropriate conclusion," Berke said in a statement. "The fact that the OCE, which provides non-binding recommendations to the Ethics Committee, decided to investigate something that was already under review was a waste of taxpayer funds and House resources."