GOP Congressman facing questions over 2012 home sale

(CNN)A bad week just got even worse for Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Illinois) who is now facing questions for selling his Peoria home in October 2012 to a donor at a price far above the market value of the home.

The revelation, first reported by Blue Nation Review executive editor Jimmy Williams, is just the latest in a series of headaches for the fourth-term congressman. He came under fire earlier in the week for unusually lavish decorations in his congressional office and on Thursday a top aide was forced to resign for making racially charged Facebook posts, including videos, over the course of several years.
Now the news that Shock sold his 4,100 sq ft, four-bedroom home to donor Ali Bahaj, at the time an executive at Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc., for $925,000, according to the Peoria County Supervisor of Assessments. That's more than three times the total assessed value of the home of $255,240. A property appraiser based in the area and a state property tax official both told CNN it that the assessed value of a home in the state of Illinois represents a third of the estimated market value of the home. That would mean the assessor in this case estimated the market value of Schock's home at $765,720, still significantly below the sale price.
Real estate website Zillow showed similar homes going for between $488,000 and $895,000 during that period. A larger home on the same street sold for just $580,000 in August 2011, according to county records.
    Bahaj and his wife Gloria contributed $2,300 each to Schock during his 2008 campaign. Bahaj also donated more than $22,500 to the Caterpillar Inc Employee PAC over the course of several years. That PAC donated $50,000 to Schock between 2008 and 2014.
    "Questions must be asked and the Office of Congressional Ethics must investigate this transaction quickly and thoroughly," wrote Williams, whose website says he can be found regularly calling out hypocrites. "Congressman Schock and his constituents, the taxpayers, deserve nothing less."
    Schock disclosed the home sale in his financial disclosure forms for the House that year as required, listing the amount of the transaction as between $500,001 and $1,000,000.
    His office did not respond to repeated requests for comment Friday and the Office of Congressional Ethics does not comment on pending investigations.