Minnesota's campaign finance and public disclosure board ruled that Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar violated state campaign finance rules after improperly spending thousands of dollars on non-campaign expenses in 2016 and 2017 while serving as a state representative.
As a result, the state board ordered Omar to reimburse $3,500 to her campaign fund and to pay a civil penalty $500. Omar told CNN that she would pay the amounts.
"I'm glad this process is complete and that the Campaign Finance Board has come to a resolution on this matter," Omar shared in a statement.
"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. I also believe we need to dedicate more resources to our campaign finance agencies — and I look forward to supporting these efforts," she added.
It was previously reported that Minnesota Republican State Rep. Steve Drazkowski was the one who filed the initial complaint alleging that Omar’s campaign had paid lawyers $2,250 for services pertaining to Omar’s 2017 marriage dissolution. The complaint was made in July 2018.
The state board later found out that Omar's campaign had made unwarranted expenses. However, they found nothing connected to the alleged $2,250 that was spent on Omar's marriage dissolution.
“The 2016 payment of $2,250 from the Omar committee to the Kjellberg Law Office was not a payment for Rep. Omar’s subsequent marital dissolution.”
“The $2,250 payment was a reimbursement for two payments made by the Kjellberg Law Office. One payment of $750 was made to De Leon & Nestor, LLC for obtaining immigration records and one payment of $1,500 was made to Frederick & Rosen, Ltd. for services related to Mr. Hirsi’s and Rep. Omar’s filed joint tax returns of 2014 and 2015,” the board stated in its findings.