Calumet City aldermen and state representative Thaddeus Jones accused of exploiting campaign funds
The Illinois State Board of Elections is accusing state Rep. Thaddeus Jones, who is now running for mayor of Calumet City, of misusing thousands of dollars of campaign funds.
The Illinois State Board of Elections, or ISBE, is accusing state Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, who is also a Calumet City alderman, of misusing campaign funds, CBS 2 Chicago reported.
Jones, who serves as a state representative and a city alderman simultaneously, is currently running for mayor of Calumet City. The ISBE has filed a complaint, alleging that since Jan. 1, 2014, Jones’ various campaign committees have given more than $5,000 to Jones’ fiancée and another $2,200 to Jones’ ex-wife for “campaign work,” “school,” “tuition assistance” and other costs, CBS 2 Chicago reported. The complaint uses phrases such as “highly suspicious” and “truly unbelievable” to describe Jones’ alleged improprieties.
Jones denied any wrongdoing and claims the allegations are politically motivated.
The ISBE’s complaint also points to $95,000 in loans Jones’ campaign committees have donated to a nonprofit he runs. The complaint also points to nearly $6,800 in expenses from a Hooter’s in Lansing since 2014. Jones claims the expenses were for a police and firefighter’s benefit event, but according to CBS 2 Chicago, Jones made 74 separate trips to the Lansing Hooter’s since January 2014, totaling nearly $6,800.
Jones has a history of controversy surrounding his use of campaign funds.
In 2012, Jones flew to Miami to attend a film festival and Calumet City reimbursed him $2,378 in costs from registration for the event, five nights at a hotel and airfare, according to a report from the Better Government Association. However, despite receiving compensation from the city for his trip, Jones used his campaign fund to pay $1,069 for his hotel expenses. When pressed on it, Jones claimed he’d booked the hotel rooms for colleagues who didn’t show up to the event and then forgot to cancel the room. But, Jones described the expense in a letter to the hotel, which the Better Government Association obtained, as “payment in the amount of $1,069 for my stay.”
Now Jones is once again embroiled in controversy, this time with his eyes on the mayoralty of Calumet City. Residents of Calumet City and the 29th District, which Jones represents, would be wise to keep an eye on his spending habits.