05/29/2012 09:40 am ET

Mark Kirk Campaign Finance Complaint: Kimberly Vertolli, Kirk's Ex-Wife, Files FEC Complaint

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)'s ex-wife Kimberly Vertolli has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that the senator may have illegally hidden campaign payments to a consultant, his then-live-in girlfriend.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Vertolli, who was also paid $40,000 by the campaign in 2010, alleges that the Kirk campaign paid Dodie McCracken more than $143,000 through another company that was working for the campaign, rather than paying McCracken directly, essentially keeping her name out of Kirk's federal disclosure paperwork.

Kirk's campaign told the Tribune that Vertolli's complaint, filed last year, is "groundless" and based in "bitter personal attacks. They claim that the senator did nothing wrong.

In August 2010, Vertolli called McCracken a "kind of Svengali figure in his life" in an interview with Chicago magazine. Kirk and Vertolli divorced in 2009, after eight years of marriage.

The FEC could yet decide to either dismiss the complaint or begin an investigation into the matter.

Kirk, 52, is still recovering from a serious stroke he suffered in January. Kirk, elected to President Obama's former U.S. Senate seat in the fall of 2010, left rehab and returned to his Highland Park, Ill. home earlier this month. A video released in May showed that the senator is working to regain his ability to walk and speak normally.

WATCH a previous report on Kirk's stroke recovery:



View more videos at: