The father of embattled Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock is speaking out in defense of his son, telling a Chicago television station that the media seems "out to get" his son because he doesn't run his life conventionally or look like other politicians.
"Aaron is a little different," Dr. Richard Schock told Chicago's ABC7
. "He wears stylish clothing and yet he's not gay… and he's not married and he's not running around with women, so everybody is throwing up their arms. They can't figure out Aaron, so he must be crooked. So attack him, bring him down, because he doesn't fit into our picture."
The elder Schock said he was surprised by his son's decision to resign amid allegations he improperly spent government money including billing taxpayers for mileage on his personal vehicle that didn't seem to add up to his odometer reading. The overage, noted the congressman's office, will be paid back.
His father says the handsome and youthful Republican congressman, 33, is "broken" after this ordeal but also remains a "fighter."
"He's had a good run. He's done a lot of good. He's helped a lot of people," Richard Schock told ABC7 of his son who has represented Illinois's 18th District in Washington since 2009.
He's also someone who could easily make a political comeback, his dad said. "Two years from now he'll be successful, if he's not in jail."
That possibility, dad offered, could likely happen, after it was determined that the youthful lawmaker had billed the government for 170,000 miles on his Tahoe SUV, but when it was sold, only registered 80,000 miles.
"If they're going to convict him on paperwork, then they're going to convict him. That's their privilege," Richard Schock told ABC7. "They're out to get him and they're making issues out of things that really shouldn't be issues."
Schock resigned abruptly, failing to notify even House Speaker John Boehner of his decision, Politico reported
"He told no one. As far as I know, no other member [of Congress] knew," Illinois Rep. John Shimkus told Politico. "I don't even think his staff knew."
His resignation takes effect March 31 and ends an ethics investigation into his spending and use of campaign funds, Business Insider reported
The probe and attention to his personal conduct "made it too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself," Schock said in announcing he would step down on Tuesday.
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