Skip to main content

Report reveals more details about ethics investigation into Rep. Hagedorn

The congressman described the report's findings as "unfounded conclusions."
Jim Hagedorn

The nonpartisan entity tasked with reviewing two ethics allegations involving Minnesota Rep. Jim Hagedorn found "substantial reason to believe" the claims.

The House Committee on Ethics on Thursday published the previously confidential report from the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) looking into the matter. It lays out both the accusations against the 1st District Representative, and the evidence investigators gathered during their probe.

At the heart of the investigations are two allegations:

  1. That Hagedorn's office spent $453,686.38 on mailers through two companies owned by or affiliated with two of his employees.
  2. Hagedorn's campaign made use of a Mankato office space while paying either no rent, or below-market-value rent, and did not report it as an in-kind contribution.

The OEC's report says there is "substantial reason to believe" Hagedorn "used official funds to contract for services with companies owned or controlled by his staff members," and "used private office space at no cost or for a rate below fair market value."

The investigation is not complete, but both could potentially constitute violations of House rules, standards of conduct and federal law, the report says.

The OEC also went out of its way to note Hagedorn's lack of cooperation during the review, saying his refusal to participate means "the extent to which [Hagedorn] was aware of or involved in" the two potential violations "remains unclear." (He was one of six individuals or parties the OEC listed as refusing to cooperate.)

Hagedorn's response to the OCE report, filed in August by his attorneys, said the OCE's report includes "unfounded conclusions." The response also accused the OCE of choosing to "waste taxpayer resources" reviewing claims Hagedorn had self-reported, and took umbrage with the description of Hagedorn as uncooperative, saying "it somehow demonstrates culpability on his part."

Hagedorn, the response says, "stands ready to cooperate fully and voluntarily" if the committee has questions, with the response suggesting "leftist groups" have targeted the Republican congressman.

The committee's statement Thursday specifically notes that "conducting further review of a referral" and adhering to any "mandatory" disclosures does not indicate Hagedorn violated any rules or laws. 

The committee is still investigating the matter.

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter for the latest breaking news

What the OEC's report alleges

The purpose of the OEC's report, which was sent to the House Ethics Committee in July, is not to determine whether wrongdoing occurred. Instead, it acts as a referral to the committee, which can then choose whether to review the matter. In September, the committee's chairman and ranking member announced they had indeed chosen to do so.

Both allegations first came to light through media reports, the first through a report from Legistorm on June 8, 2020, followed by the Minnesota Reformer. The story prompted Hagedorn to order an internal review of the mailer spending, which the congressman self-reported to the House Ethics Committee, and saw him fire his Chief of Staff.

But the OCE found evidence Hagedorn "knew or should have known that there were irregularities in his franked mail practices, including unusually high spending, above fair market prices, and potential financial conflicts of interest."

The second claim regarding the Mankato office space surfaced in October of 2020 via Politico. Hagedorn, in public statements, described the office space in question as a P.O. box and said "no physical location is tied to that address." The OCE found at least two social media posts, including one from Hagedorn's account, describing the address as a "headquarters" and showing groups of people there. Hagedorn's campaign, the OCE review said, paid $100 for the space, which had been going for $952 a month from 2011-14.

The OCE report says the evidence suggests Hagedorn "used private office space at no cost or for a rate below fair market value."

Next Up

Jason Hackett

New face joining KARE 11's 'Sunrise' morning show

Jason Hackett will be joining Alicia Lewis and Guy Brown on KARE 11's morning show.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 4.04.09 PM

Armed robbery suspect sought in two south metro investigations

The incidents took place at credit unions in Savage and Apple Valley.

image

Former Twin Cities plastic surgeon charged with sex crimes

Christopher Kovanda is accused of inappropriately touching woman under the guise of providing medical care.

Screen Shot 2022-11-15 at 4.23.26 PM

Minnesota man accused of murder in Chicago is arrested in Alabama

A 26-year-old man from a small town on the Iowa border is accused of murdering a Greyhound bus employee.

DougKeddieShakopeeSchools

Support for Shakopee Public Schools employee diagnosed with cancer

The media specialist has been transitioned to hospice care recently.

snow

Big November snowstorms uncommon in MN, but snowfall is increasing

This week's 8.4 inches at MSP Airport was one of the biggest November storms in the Twin Cities since 1991.

MNASecondStrike

Minnesota nurses take vote on whether to hold second strike

The results will be determined Wednesday night.

unsplash medical marijuana

OCD, irritable bowel syndrome added to MN's medical marijuana list

They are the two latest qualifying medical conditions for Minnesota's marijuana program.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 9.27.45 AM

Fundraiser created for family-owned Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine after shooting

Support from the community will go towards medical expenses and overhead costs for the restaurant.

Erica Shameka Roberts

Police: Minnesota murder suspect arrested in Texas

Erica Roberts has been on the run since March.

JackknifedSemisI35

Jackknifed semis close I-35 northbound near Faribault

There are icy conditions across Minnesota

Related

Jim Hagedorn

Rep. Hagedorn being investigated by House Ethics Committee

The probe appears to be related to his office's finances.

Jim Hagedorn

Rep. Jim Hagedorn tests positive for COVID-19

The congressman is being treated at Mayo Clinic at the request of his doctors.

vote, election

Walz announces special election to fill seat of late Rep. Hagedorn

There will be a two-week filing period beginning March 1.

Jim Hagedorn

Rep. Jim Hagedorn fires chief of staff over spending controversy

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

Jim Hagedorn

1st District Rep. Jim Hagedorn reveals he has stage 4 cancer

Hagedorn is facing a re-election fight this November.

Screen Shot 2021-08-08 at 3.09.20 PM

NTSB report reveals new details about fatal plane crash in Victoria

The pilot reportedly acknowledged a low altitude alert shortly before the crash.

Jim Hagedorn

1st District Rep. Jim Hagedorn updates his battle against kidney cancer

The 57-year-old was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in Feb. 2019.

Screen Shot 2019-07-05 at 9.42.28 AM

Pressure on Rep. Jim Hagedorn rises as DFL calls for ethics probe

Hagedorn spent tax dollars on mailings from a company owned by one of his staffers.