Colorado officials are examining allegations that Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) inflated the mileage she logged on the campaign trail in 2020 and then used more than $20,000 in reimbursements from donors to pay off years of tax liens on her restaurant.
Boebert is accused of using campaign funds to reimburse herself for $22,259 in mileage – a sum strikingly similar to the $20,000 she paid in tax liens for her previous failure to pay unemployment premiums on her restaurant, Shooters Grill.
The allegations were brought to the Colorado attorney general’s office by the American Muckrakers PAC, which recently helped to oust Madison Cawthorn’s congressional run.
“Had Representative Boebert paid her restaurant staff properly and also paid the unemployment premiums to the State of Colorado, an investigation never would have been necessary,” David B. Wheeler, one of the PAC’s founders, told the New York Times.
Janet Drake, the deputy Colorado attorney general for criminal justice, told Wheeler on Tuesday that her department would work with the state’s Department of Revenue and Department of Labor and Employment “to investigate the issue.”
Lawrence Pacheco, a spokesperson for the Colorado attorney general, confirmed that the matter had been forwarded to an interagency group “to evaluate the allegations and whether legal actions are justified.” He said the attorney general, Philip J. Weiser, a Democrat, would have no further comment.
Aides to Boebert said Wednesday that she had accounted for the mileage she logged. The campaign did have to revise the initial total, but that was because other reimbursable travel expenses, such as hotel costs, had been combined with mileage. And, they said, she paid off the tax liens before the reimbursements reached her bank account.
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