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California in Congress

Rep. Duncan Hunter's chief of staff steps down amid investigation into congressman's campaign funds

Rep. Duncan Hunter's chief of staff, Joe Kasper, is leaving the embattled congressman's office after 15 years on Capitol Hill.

Kasper has been the Alpine Republican's voice throughout much of the congressional ethics and FBI investigations into whether Hunter misused thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal expenses.

His name has been officially tied to the investigations just once, in an FBI warrant to search Hunter's campaign treasurer's office. The warrant said agents were looking for communication with Kasper, Hunter, Hunter's wife and others.

Kasper worked for Hunter's father, former Rep. Duncan Hunter, before joining his son's office. He started out as communications director and worked his way to chief of staff.

As chief of staff, Kasper spoke to the media on his boss' behalf and had a hand in legislative issues.

"Few members allow for the responsibility and autonomy that I had — and I’ll be forever grateful to hold Rep. Hunter’s confidence, respect and friendship. I also have to thank Rep. Hunter’s father, who hired me as young upstart on Capitol Hill and gave me all the life-lessons and guidance I needed to set my pace over more than a decade," he said in a statement announcing his departure.

Kasper said he is headed to a job at the Pentagon, but did not say what role he would have there.

"It was a very difficult decision given my close relationship with Rep. Duncan Hunter and knowing what we’ve accomplished over the years," he said in the note.

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