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Congressman's 'Downton Abbey'-Inspired Office Causes Capitol Stir

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Is there a Lord Grantham in the House – the U.S. House of Representatives, that is?

Maybe just a wanna-be – but he’s stirred, as the Dowager Countess might say, quite a little tempest in a teapot.

It seems Rep. Aaron Schock, a Republican congressman from Illinois, had his suite in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill redecorated. And then he had the bad fortune of having a reporter for The Washington Post stop by for a look.

“Bright red walls. A gold-colored wall sconce with black candles. A Federal-style bull’s-eye mirror with an eagle perched on top,” the Post reported.

It’s never good for an elected official to appear too highfalutin, so after Schock’s receptionist volunteered that the décor is “actually based off of the Red Room in Downton Abbey,” and the Post reporter starting snapping photos, there was trouble.

Rep. Aaron Schock’s office
On Tuesday, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics, asking the office to investigate whether Schock “violated House rules by improperly accepting free interior decorating services … and by paying for furniture for his congressional offices with campaign funds.”

The complaint goes on to quote the Post’s description of Schock’s personal office within the Rayburn suite: “another dramatic red room. This one with a drippy crystal chandelier, a table propped up by two eagles, a bust of Abraham Lincoln and massive arrangements of pheasant feathers.”

Neither the ethics office nor Schock’s spokesperson responded to PEOPLE requests for further information.

Rep. Aaron Schock’s office