Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s perk costs taxpayers $1 million
Hastert, 68, a lobbyist and business consultant who retired from Congress in 2007, has hired three of his former staffers at salaries of more than $100,000 apiece to run the publicly financed office.
Taxpayers also are paying monthly rent of $6,300 to a company partly owned by three sons of a Hastert mentor and business partner. Other public funds go for an $860-a-month 2008 GMC Yukon leased from a dealership owned by a Hastert friend and campaign donor.
Federal law allows former House speakers to maintain a taxpayer-funded office anywhere in the United States for up to five years. The purpose is to "facilitate the administration, settlement and conclusion of matters pertaining to or arising out of" a former speaker's tenure in the House.