State Treasurer Dan Rutherford has decided to not release the results of an internal investigation related to allegations made by a former employee.
Rutherford, a Republican candidate for governor, was accused by Ed Michalowski of sexual harassment and claims that Rutherford asked him to perform campaign duties on state time.
The report from the Illinois State Treasurer's Office about its internal investigation was scheduled to be released Friday, but Rutherford's spokesman said Thursday that no further information from the investigation will be released "except through the courts."
Two weeks ago, Rutherford first disclosed that an attorney for an employee had asked him for $300,000 as a proposed settlement for the alleged misconduct, but no settlement agreement was reached.
Since then, Michalowski left the Treasurer's Office and filed a civil lawsuit alleging Rutherford subjected him to a "long-standing pattern of discrimination based upon his sex" from April 2011 to December 2013 that included grabbing at Michalowski's genitals and repeatedly "hitting on" him.
He also claims Rutherford made offensive remarks to him and other male employees, and was behind an inappropriate text message through a staffer that asked him to wear a "tank top" to an event.
Attorney Peter Andjelkovich was hired Thursday to represent Rutherford in the civil lawsuit, and tells NBC 5 that he's instructed his client "not to not talk in the public forum since the lawsuit was filed," because "any evidence is subject to the courts," which may include statements.
Andjelkovich notes that the upcoming primary makes the situation tricky, however "no negative inference should be taken" and that "there's nothing smoking in there that should be hidden."
Rutherford's chief of staff Kyle Ham is also named in the suit.
Rutherford vehemently denied the allegations at a news conference, saying the timing before the primary makes it clear that it's politically-motivated, and claims opponent Bruce Rauner is behind it.
The internal investigation has been conducted by a former IRS agent who has been paid $250 an hour in taxpayer funds to examine Michalowski's allegations.