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Rutherford Employee Alleges Sexual Harassment in Resignation Letter

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New details emerge about the employee that is accusing Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford of sexual misconduct. MaryAnn Ahern reports

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Dan Rutherford Calls Recent Allegations Politically Motivated

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford said during a news conference Friday that allegations were made against him by an employee in a move he said was political.

Lawyer Says More Claims May Be Made Against Rutherford

NBC 5's MaryAnn Ahern reports that part of the allegations deal with the employee being asked to do campaign work on state time, and Rutherford has also acknowledged that harassment is also part of the pending complaint.
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A resignation letter submitted by an employee of GOP gubernatorial candidate and state treasurer Dan Rutherford makes claims of sexual harassment.

NBC 5 obtained the letter on Wednesday, which makes claims of "the treasurer's sexual harassment and political coercion of employees." The employee also says he "objected to turning the office of the Illinois State Treasurer into a campaign arm for Dan's bid for governor." The employee suggests "there are many other names of men in this administration that have been forwarded to your attorney who have felt Dan's unwanted sexual advances or inappropriate sexual comments."

The employee is expected to soon file an official complaint against Rutherford.

Rutherford alerted the media to the brewing firestorm late last week without disclosing the substance of the allegations, and suggested rival candidate Bruce Rauner was behind it, a claim Rauner denies.

The employee's name has not been revealed, however NBC 5 Investigates has discovered the employee's wife filed for divorce in recent years and together they filed for bankruptcy.

Rutherford claimed last week that the employee's attorney asked for $300,000 as part of a severance agreement, but he said he didn't agree to it because he hasn't done anything wrong.

NBC 5 has learned that the Treasurer's Office has agreed to two severance agreements with employees during his three-year tenure, but a spokesman says "no complaints were lodged by the employees and no complaints were lodged against Treasurer Rutherford" in connection with those agreements.

Despite the distraction, it's full-speed ahead for the Rutherford campaign. The first television commercials are planned for later this week downstate.

The primary election is March 18.

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