CHICAGO - Illinois' 1st Congressional District wasn't represented in Congress for months last year as Congressman Bobby Rush took time off to care for his ailing wife, but now the 1st CD's Congressman is facing an ethics investigation.
The congressional probe comes after a Sun-Times/Better Government Association investigation reported Rush used campaign funds for the Beloved Community Christian Church where he is a minister and that he did not report any rent payments for his campaign office, both possible violations of House ethics rules.
The Sun-Times/BGA report also questioned what had become of a $1 million grant that Rush helped secure from telecommunications firm SBC to launch a tech center in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. Though Rush launched the project in 2000, no tech center has since materialized and it's unclear where the money went. The congressman claims "every penny of that money went toward programs for the Englewood community," but said he did not have records of how the money was spent specifically.
Congressman Rush is being challenged in November by the son of former Chicago alderman Dorothy Tillman, Republican Jimmy Tillman II.