Grand jury taking testimony in probe of Schock’s spending

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A grand jury is taking testimony as part of a federal investigation into former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock’s expenses.

Schock resigned from Congress in March following months of media reports about lavish office and political spending, including improper mileage reimbursements, trips on donors’ aircraft and office decorations in the style of the TV show “Downton Abbey.”

The Peoria Republican’s former communications director says he answered questions from the grand jury in Springfield for two hours on Wednesday.

Benjamin Cole said the grand jury told him afterward he would no longer be needed to testify. He says he is cooperating with federal prosecutors.

The Justice Department has issued subpoenas to at least half a dozen current and former Schock staffers as it examines his expense accounts, campaign spending and relationships with donors.