Rep. Jim Hagedorn fires chief of staff over spending controversy

A recent report found Hagedorn was the top spender in Congress in Q1.
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Jim Hagedorn

A top staffer for one of Minnesota's congressional delegates is out of a job over budgetary irregularities. 

Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican who represents the state's 1st District, has fired Chief of Staff Peter Su.

The story was first reported by conservative news site The Daily Caller, which says Hagedorn made the move as a result of alleged "irregular spending." 

This followed a June report by congressional tracker LegiStorm, which said that Hagedorn was the top spender in the U.S. House, with 39.8 percent of his office's budget being spent in the first quarter. 

By comparison, the site noted, the average congressperson "spent only 19.5 percent (of their budget) during that time."

The site also reported that 19 percent of Hagedorn's expenses went towards mass mailings — "the highest of any representative" by far. 

The money comes out of a yearly allowance given to every U.S. representative, which comes out to nearly $945,000

Hagedorn did issue a statement to the Daily Caller, saying he "became aware of this matter approximately two months ago" and "took immediate action by hiring outside counsel to perform an independent review."

He also said that while "these relatively routine duties were fully delegated to my former Chief of Staff and our finance officer, I acknowledge responsibility for the oversight of my office and will continue to make any necessary management improvements.”

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Minnesota Reformer also reported that Hagedorn hired a Texas firm owned by one of his staffers to handle some of his office's mailings, at a cost of more than $100,000 in taxpayer money. 

According to the website, Congressional ethics experts say such a business relationship "is a clear violation of government ethics rules."

Hagedorn, whose district covers a big chunk of southern Minnesota (including Rochester and Mankato), is running for reelection against DFLer Dan Feehan, who lost to Hagedorn in 2018. 

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