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Rep. Hagedorn talks about firing chief of staff

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MANKATO, Minn. (KTTC) -- Days before a presidential visit to Minnesota's First Congressional District, it's Republican representative made headlines for being the highest spending congressman in the country.

Rep. Jim Hagedorn's office has spent almost 40 percent of its yearly expense allowance in the first quarter of this year.

Because of that, Peter Su, Hagedorn's chief of staff, was fired Saturday.

"We put out a statement on that. We have an internal investigation and review on that," Hagedorn said at President Trump's Mankato visit Monday.

That statement was released to KTTC Monday morning. It reads: “When I became aware of this matter approximately two months ago, I took immediate action by hiring outside counsel to perform an independent review, making senior-level personnel changes, and reestablishing best practices for staff and the acquisition of services. I also advised the House Committees of jurisdiction, House Administration and Ethics, of our independent review, which remains ongoing. Moving forward, I will continue to provide the Committees with findings from our review and offer recommendations to improve House franking operations. While these relatively routine duties were fully delegated to my former Chief of Staff and our finance officer, I acknowledge responsibility for the oversight of my office and will continue to make any necessary management improvements.”

According to Minnesota Public Radio, about half of Hagedorn's spending on printing and mailing correspondence, which added up to about $270,000.

"We have a portion of our budget that goes towards mailings. There was finite number of dollars that was spent on that. We were always going to do that," Hagedorn said.

According to congressional documentation, about $60,000 of that went to a Texas based company, INVOCQ Technologies LLC for printing costs. A part time staffer for Hagedorn, John Sample, is listed as that company's "chief financial officer, chief technology officer and director," according the Minnesota Reformer.

"The review is pending, so when that's over we will be able to get you more information," said Hagedorn.

Su served as Hagedorn's chief of staff since Hagedorn first took office. There is no word on the status of Sample's employment with Hagedorn.

Beret Leone

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