California Rep. Duncan Hunter abused his access to campaign funds for a great many personal expenses, but perhaps the most ironic — though not the most expensive — was money he allegedly stole to pay for his children’s education at a private Christian school.
The Daily Beast reported in 2016 that Hunter used $1,650 in campaign funds to help pay the tuition at Christian Unified Schools, “a private school district in San Diego that serves evangelicals.”
“That was actually a donation,” [Joey Kasper, Hunter’s chief of staff] said. The campaign treasurer, Chris Marston, Kasper claimed, had “mistakenly” assumed it was tuition, and so he listed it on the FEC report with the notation, “PERSONAL EXPENSE—TO BE PAID BACK” when, according to Kasper, it didn’t need to be paid back.
However, school officials had no record of Hunter having made a donation.
Kelly Smith, the administrative assistant to the superintendent of Christian Unified Schools, told The Daily Beast that she didn’t “recall” any donation from Hunter or his campaign.
While on the phone, Smith reviewed the files of charitable donations. “It’s not under Hunter for Congress,” she said.
She then looked it up under Hunter’s name.
“No,” she said, “I didn’t get anything from him.”
Kasper attempted to explain away the discrepancy again, saying the funds were simply misplaced by the school, which is why the donation record was missing.
In the end, Hunter’s $250,000 worth of “mistakes” with his campaign funds have caught up to him: he was indicted this week, along with his wife, on several charges of campaign finance violations.