Skip to main content
Publish date:

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

Adam Thielen

Winless Lions beat Vikings on final play of game

Adam Thielen also left early with an ankle injury

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 7-0 on Willis' late 3-pointer

The Gophers earned back-to-back road victories for the first time since January 2017.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Woman in critical condition after being shot in the head in St. Paul

Officers responded to the incident at around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Alexander Mattison

Vikings-Lions: 5 things you can count on

It's a great time for the Vikings to play the Lions.

covid

Omicron variant confirmed in Wisconsin man who traveled to South Africa

Five other cases have been confirmed and linked to a Wisconsin wedding.

Sharon Mollerus - duluth - snow plow car

Sunday snowstorm walloping MN's North Shore with huge totals

Just ridiculous snow totals expected the rest of Sunday.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 6.49.03 AM

Saturday snow causes havoc on Twin Cities roads

There were countless spinouts and crashes across Minnesota.

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

Hagedorn - Carnahan side by side

Rep. Hagedorn blames 'cancel-culture' for wife's expulsion from MN GOP

Jennifer Carnahan was forced out as party chair amid a cloud of allegations.

jim hagedorn

Rep. Jim Hagedorn shares good news about kidney cancer treatment

Hagedorn was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in February 2019.