Rep. Lauren Boebert improperly used campaign funds for rent, utilities

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Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., improperly spent thousands of dollars in campaign funds on rent and utilities, her campaign acknowledged this week in a filing with the Federal Election Commission, but it said the money had been paid back.

The FEC had asked Boebert's campaign treasurer in a letter last month for more information about $6,000 in payments that had been listed in her quarterly filing as a "personal expense of Lauren Boebert billed to campaign account in error." The filing said the money had already been paid back.

The letter warned that "if it is determined that the disbursement(s) constitutes the personal use of campaign funds, the Commission may consider taking further legal action. However, prompt action to obtain reimbursement of the funds in question will be taken into consideration."

In a filing this week, the campaign said the money had been sent to a person named John Pacheco at the same address as Boebert's restaurant, Shooters Grill. The eatery in the town of Rifle is best known for its armed waitresses.

Boebert communications director Ben Stout said the "funds were reimbursed months ago when Rep. Boebert self-reported the error."

The FEC prohibits using campaign funds for personal expenses. It defines personal use "as any use of funds in a campaign account of a candidate (or former candidate) to fulfill a commitment, obligation or expense of any person that would exist irrespective of the candidate's campaign or responsibilities as a federal officeholder."

Penalty can include letters reminding candidates of their obligations to financial penalties.

Asked about the new filing, FEC spokesman Myles Martin said, "We cannot comment on specific candidates or committees."

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