Printer Friendly

CAR TROUBLE: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES REPORTS ROSTENKOWSKI PAID $68,250 TO LEASE 3 VEHICLES THAT BECAME HIS PROPERTY

 CHICAGO, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-IL, charged taxpayers at least $68,250 to lease three vehicles that became his personal property, the Chicago Sun-Times reports in copyrighted articles in Sunday's editions.
 The vehicle transactions may violate House rules that govern how members of Congress use their official expense allowances and raise questions about possible violation of federal laws, according to the page one Sun-Times article.
 Patrick Jones, a Rostenkowski spokesman, denied any wrongdoing by the congressman, saying Rostenkowski had not used "campaign or taxpayers' funds to his personal advantage."
 The Sun-Times says records show that taxpayers have spent $1,050 every month to lease Rostenkowski's "mobile offices" for two years each. The vehicles were a 1987 Ford Econoline van, a 1989 Ford Aerostar minivan and a 1991 Ford Taurus wagon.
 The $1,050 monthly lease payment to Wil-Shore Motor Sales Inc., in Wilmette, is one of the most expensive for any mobile office leased by a congressman and exceeds the customary cost for the types of vehicles Rostenkowski as leasing. For example, two years of payments on the Aerostar minivan totalled $25,200. The Sun-Times article notes that auto industry experts say similarly equipped Aerostars sold for between $20,000 and $22,000.
 Other key issues in the complex transactions:
 -- The Sun-Times reports that state records show Rostenkowski took ownership of the vehicles as soon as he began leasing them, and he still holds title to them. In a typical car lease, the leasing company protects its ownership rights by keeping title to the car in its name, or by turning it over to a finance company.
 -- House regulations prohibit members from buying vehicles with their expense allowance or arranging government leases with an option to buy the vehicle when the lease ends. Leases are limited to two years, the length of a congressional term; as a result, monthly lease payments may be higher than payments under the typical three- or four-year auto lease.
 -- In response to Sun-Times inquiries that began four weeks ago, Jones initially said all three vehicles were returned to the dealership at the end of the lease. However, the answers changed over the course of several days when the newspaper asked why the cars are still titled in Rostenkowski's name and why he was still buying license plates for them in 1992.
 -- Jones subsequently responded that Rostenkowski's campaign committee bought the Econoline at the end of the first two-year lease. He said the congressman bought the Aerostar with personal funds at the end of that lease, but he would not disclose the purchase price. The Taurus was returned to the dealership last year, Jones said. The Sun- Times reports that the Taurus did not show up at the dealership lot until 10 days ago, after the newspaper's inquiries about the auto leasing deals. State records show the title still is in Rostenkowski's name; however, officials said title changes can take 30 to 60 days to surface in the Secretary of State's computer system.
 -- Only three other congressmen had monthly lease arrangements more expensive than Rostenkowski's and all three cited special circumstances. Rep. Charles E. Wilson, D-Tex., paid $2,405 per month to lease a Winnebago in which Wilson and his aides traverse the 13,000 square miles of his district. Rostenkowski's district covers 33 square miles, and no constituent is more than 10 miles from the district office.
 Sun-Times reporters Chuck Neubauer and Mark Brown worked on the copyrighted articles.
 For more information or to have the complete text of the Sun-Times investigative package faxed to your news desk, call Judith Horak at 312-321-2005 or 312-649-9413, or Joanne Kitsos at 312-321-2645.
 -0- 01/23/93
 /CONTACT: Judith A. Horak, 312-321-2005, or 312-649-9413; or Joanne Kitsos, 312-321-2645, both of the Chicago Sun-Times/


CO: The Chicago Sun-Times ST: Illinois IN: PUB SU:

AH -- NYSA003 -- 8172 01/23/93 15:19 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 23, 1993
Words:647
Previous Article:NC BANKERS ASSOCIATION SPONSORS BANK DIRECTORS CONFERENCE
Next Article:PAPERHANDLERS' UNION FAILS TO RATIFY AGREEMENT WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES
Topics:


Related Articles
CONGRESSMAN ROSTENKOWSKI CONTINUES VIGOROUS SUPPORT OF UNITED AIRLINES' BID FOR CHICAGO-LONDON ROUTE
MORE THOUSANDS IN GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED RENTS FOR ROSTY'S FAMILY, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES REPORTS SUNDAY
ROSTENKOWSKI: The Pursuit of Power and the End of the Old Politics.
ROSTENKOWSKI EXPECTED TO SIGN PLEA BARGAIN IN CORRUPTION CASE.
EDITORIAL : POWER AND ARROGANCE EVEN IN GUILT, ROSTENKOWSKI EXHIBITS SELF-RIGHTEOUS ATTITUDE.
Tribune Completes Acquisition of Real Estate From TMCT Partnership.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters