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Ilhan Omar ordered to repay thousands of dollars of improperly-spent campaign funds

Omar did not dispute the penalties

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) was hit with several campaign finance violations and ordered to repay improperly-used funds related to her state House of Representatives campaign, according to KMSP-TV.

Omar agreed to repay the money, and did not dispute the findings of the investigation.

"I'm glad this process is complete and that the Campaign Finance Board has come to a resolution on this matter," Omar said in a statement. "We have been collaborative in this process and are glad the report showed that none of the money was used for personal use, as was initially alleged."

What did she do? Omar was ordered to repay $3,469 in campaign funds as well as a $500 civil fine for her campaign finance violations.

Omar used campaign funds to pay for hotel and travel expenses for out-of-state events on five occasions in 2017. Her campaign also paid expenses associated with Omar's 2014 and 2015 tax returns, and also her immigration records.

How did she get caught? State Rep. Steve Drazkowski reported Omar in July 2018. Drazkowski claimed Omar had used campaign funds to pay attorneys for their work on her marriage dissolution, although the board did not find that to be true.

"I had observed a long pattern," Drazkowski said at the time of the complaint. "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."

What will Omar do going forward? Omar said she will close out her state House campaign organization and donate the remaining funds.

"In addition to complying with the board's findings, I plan on closing the account from my state House race and distributing the funds to organizations that help train first-time candidates to run for office—so that the next generation of candidates and their teams know how to adequately track and report campaign expenses," Omar said.

(H/T The Daily Caller)

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