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Lawmaker's Aide Resigns After Reports of Racial Comments

Lawmaker's Aide Resigns After Reports of Racial Comments

Benjamin Cole, the spokesman of Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock, allegedly compared African-Americans to zoo animals.

Published February 9, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top aide to Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock has resigned following reports that he posted racially charged comments on social media.

Benjamin Cole had served as the Republican lawmaker's spokesman since March.

Schock said in a statement to the Peoria Journal Star that he was "extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff."

The liberal website Think Progress on Thursday published posts from Cole's personal Facebook page that included comments mocking two African Americans outside his Washington apartment.

Earlier this week, Cole tried to stop a Washington Post reporter from taking photos of Schock's congressional office, which is decorated in a style modeled after the TV show "Downton Abbey."

A watchdog group has requested an ethics inquiry over the interior design work.

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(Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Written by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

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