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.