Should Hyatt Partner With A Corrupt Former Illinois Congressman?

Ben Schlappig from One Mile at a Time reviewed the Hyatt House/Hyatt Place LAX and offered “I wouldn’t stay again, because I have issues supporting the owner and developer of the property (Aaron Schock).” He did not explain further, so I thought I would offer ‘the rest of the story.’

Schock is a former Illinois Republican Congressman who was indicted (but paid a fine as part of a deferred-prosecution agreement) for misappropriation of campaign funds. He came out as gay in 2020, but had a zero percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign.

What’s perhaps on point for the points and travel space is that his illegal activity actually had a miles and points angle.

While most of the attention was paid to lavish personal spending billed to his political activities, including claiming $138,663 in ‘fraudulent mileage reimbursements’ which involved reporting that he drove 150,000 miles more than shown on odometers, he also used campaign funds to charter a plane from Washington Dulles to Peoria after misconnecting on a Membership Rewards points redemption back from Europe.

In August 2013, Schock used American Express points to book a vacation to Europe from Washington Dulles Airport. When his connecting flight from Peoria was delayed, he chartered an airplane for more than $8,000, and charged his campaign account for the cost, according to the indictment.

It strikes me as an interesting question whether the Illinois Pritzker family which controls Hyatt ought to partner with a corrupt former Illinois congressman in his post-congressional career, and whether they ought to find corruption or Schock’s politics more troubling given their own?

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