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Hagedorn Hires Lawyer With History of Defending Criminal Politicians


Plus, Hagedorn Staffer Who Scored $100k Government Contract Still on Payroll Despite Massive Ethics Violations

St. Paul, MN – Yesterday, the Minnesota Reformer revealed that Congressman Hagedorn retained the services of Elliot Berke, a veteran D.C. lawyer who has helped numerous disgraced lawmakers who found themselves in legal trouble.

Berke has previously represented ex-Congressman Duncan Hunter, who is currently spending 11 months in prison for misusing campaign funds, as well as ex-Congressman Aaron Schock, who was indicted on 24 felony counts ranging from theft of government funds, fraud, making false statements and filing false tax returns.

This hiring was promoted by the revelation that Hagedorn’s office paid a company owned by one of Hagedorn’s own staffers, John Sample, over $100,000, which is a massive violation of House ethics rules. Hagedorn’s office also paid $340,000 to Abernathy West, a company that was formed just one year ago and has gone through great lengths to conceal its ownership.

Neither Sample’s company nor Abernathy West had any history of doing the type of work Hagedorn’s office paid them almost half a million of our tax dollars to do.

The Reformer also revealed that Hagedorn is still employing and paying Sample, despite the massive ethics problems he faces due to Sample’s role as a Hagedorn staffer and a government contractor.

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement: 

“It’s no surprise that Jim Hagedorn just hired a D.C. lawyer who specializes in defending criminal politicians like Aaron Schock and Duncan Hunter since Hagedorn spent his first term in Congress handing out our hard-earned tax dollars to his cronies and using those tax dollars to prop up his floundering re-election campaign.

“Hagedorn has known for months about the corrupt and unethical dealings in his office, yet he hid it from the public until the press started asking questions. To make matters worse, Hagedorn is still employing one of the people at the center of his massive ethics violations, John Sample. Hagedorn has proven definitively that he does not deserve our trust or our votes.”