Wednesday July 25, 2018
By Jessie Van Berkel
Omar and her divorce attorney say allegation of misuse of funds is false.
State Rep. Ilhan Omar filed to run for the Congressional seat Keith Ellison is leaving. Anthony Souffle - Star Tribune file
A state lawmaker filed a
complaint against fellow Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, accusing her of
using campaign money to pay her divorce lawyer’s legal fees in violation
of state law.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski recently filed the complaint about Omar, a
Minneapolis Democrat who is running for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s open
questioned a $2,250 payment she made in Nov. 2016 to Kjellberg Law
Office for legal fees. The firm, which specializes in family law and
divorce cases, handled Omar’s 2017 divorce.
Omar’s attorney, who owns the firm, denied the allegation.
absolutely false, I provided legal services for crisis management prior
to that, and those funds were for reimbursements for costs on crisis
management,” attorney Carla Kjellberg said.
statement, Omar said the allegation is false. “I look forward to working
with the Representative, as a member of Congress, on behalf of all
Minnesotans,” she said.
of Mazeppa, submitted the complaint to the state’s Campaign Finance and
Public Disclosure Board. Jeff Sigurdson, the board’s director, said the
board’s policy does not allow him to even confirm a complaint was filed
until it’s resolved or there are findings.
general process for handling complaints is to first determine whether
the complaint is under the board’s jurisdiction and whether there is
some basis to believe the violation occurred, he said.
target of the complaint presents his or her side and the board decides
if a formal investigation is needed. The process could take up to
several months if there is an investigation, Sigurdson said.
said Omar has a history of campaign finance violations. She accrued
$1,100 in fines after failing to file a statement of economic interest
until last month, nearly five months after it was due. She was also
fined $1,000 in May 2017 after filing a different campaign contribution
report late, as well as facing a $150 fine for a late filing in November
continues to show really a worrisome pattern,” he said, adding that the
number of campaign finance violations is “very unusual.”