By Jim Hagerty
Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford (R) is launching an investigation into allegations by an employee that he engaged in misconduct, his office announced Friday, Jan. 31.
While Rutherford said he couldn’t elaborate on the details, he said the allegations were made by a staffer in his office.
“Let me make this very clear, there is absolutely no truth to the allegations,” Rutherford said. “No factual support or merit.”
According to Rutherford, an attorney connected to the employee and his gubernatorial opponent, Bruce Rauner, demanded $300,000 to keep the allegation’s quiet.
“Christine Svenson is an attorney making demands on behalf of the accuser and is directly linked to my opponent Bruce Rauner,” Rutherford said. “Svenson demanded payment of $300,000 for the employee to ‘walk away and keep it under wraps.'”
Rauner said his involvement goes no further than hiring Svenson to review his campaign’s office lease last year. The campaign hired Svenson after Rauner learned their regular attorney had a conflict of interest with the landlord. Rauner’s campaign paid Svenson a one-time fee of $3,500 but never discussed the race for governor or Rutherford’s camp, he said.
“We are launching an investigation given that the state treasurer is involved,” Neil Olson, c0unsel for Rutherford’s office, said. “We have an obligation to investigate appropriately. We are doing that in this case.”
Dan Rutherford announced his candidacy for governor in June 2013. His running mate is Steve Kim, who ran for attorney general in 2010.
Chicago billionaire Bruce Rauner is chairman of R8 Capital Partners. In 1980, he founded the private equity firm, GTCR. Rauner also served as an advisor to Chicago Mayor Rham Emauel. He entered the Republican race for governor last spring.
Posted Jan. 31, 2014