(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s campaign committee said Tuesday it had done nothing improper when it spent nearly $17,000 in campaign funds on hundreds of items from a jewelry company owned by Reid’s granddaughter, Ryan Elisabeth Reid.
Those items - coasters, picture frames and other trinkets with themes from Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, Nevada - were given to staff members and campaign supporters as thank you gifts, according to a Reid aide. Each item is valued at about $50.
“The campaign complied with all FEC rules,” said Chris Anderson of Friends for Harry Reid in a statement.
Despite believing the expenditures were in compliance with federal campaign laws, Reid said late Tuesday he would reimburse the campaign from his personal funds.
“I thought it would be nice to give supporters and staff thank-you gifts that had a personal connection and a Searchlight connection, but I have decided to reimburse the campaign for the amount of the expenditure,” Reid said in a statement.
The campaign was preparing to send a letter to the Federal Election Commission in response to its inquiry about the expense that the campaign had reported in an FEC filing as “holiday gifts.”
The FEC sent a letter to the campaign last week saying it wanted to make sure the items were in compliance with “acceptable purposes of disbursement” as mandated under FEC rules.