In federal filing, Mark Kirk’s ex-wife says he funneled campaign cash to his girlfriend


The junior U.S. senator from Illinois, who suffered a stroke this past winter, is now facing ALLEGATIONS of possible wrongdoing:

The ex-wife of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, alleging that Kirk may have improperly hidden campaign payments to an ex-girlfriend by paying her through a company doing campaign work, The Chicago Tribune reports.

“Mr. Kirk seems to have believed Ms. McCracken provided him with something valuable enough, that he acceded to, directed, or tacitly endorsed … campaign donations being surreptitiously transferred to his girlfriend,” Kimberly Vertolli, the ex-wife, wrote in her complaint, filed in November 2011.

Vertolli, who has been a Navy lieutenant and intelligence officer and a lawyer for the CIA,, herself received $40,000 from the campaign, also through a company, though the Tribune reports that “she said there was nothing improper about that.”

Kirk’s campaign, meanwhile, has called Vertolli’s accusations “groundless.”

Vertolli, 39, and Kirk, 52, divorced in 2009 after nearly eight years of marriage. Eric Elk, Kirk’s campaign manager, told the Tribune that the couple split amicably, but Vertolli now blames Kirk’s relationship with Dodie McCracken, 54, for the divorce. McCracken worked on Kirk’s first House race, and later served as a top aide in Washington. Elk confirmed to the Tribune that Kirk and McCracken “were involved” after the then-Congressman’s marital separation from Vertolli in 2008, and that Kirk and McCracken took a trip to London, Athens and the Greek island Santorini in November of that year. The couple lived together in Illinois and Washington, D.C., from June 2011 until January, and Elk says they remain friends.


1 Comment

  1. Neftali

    I really hope this is just a case of a scorned ex-wife trying to enact some revenge for some hurt feelings. Unfortunately, given the impressive credentials of Ms. Vortolli, her credibility appears sound. Not only that, but it appears she waited until Senator Kirk had sufficiently healed enough from his stroke to begin making public statements and appearances before she filed the motion against him.

    For having such an impressive resume, Mark Kirk has sure done some stupid things. First, unnecessarily exaggerating a respectable military career, and now this.

    If all this is true, its a damn shame. Kirk has shown a history as a moderate willing to work across party lines. His friendship with blue dog Democrat Joe Manchin is well known. He is one of my favorite Republicans, I’m hoping this incident doesn’t ruin a still potentially bright Senatorial career.

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