GOP gubernatorial candidate conducts news conference after former employee Edmund Michalowski files sexual harassment lawsuit.
A report from the Illinois State Treasurer's Office about its internal investigation of allegations made by a former employee is expected to be released Friday.
The report comes two weeks after Treasurer Dan Rutherford first disclosed that an attorney for an employee had asked him for $300,000. Rutherford said it was a proposed settlement agreement after the employee alleged misconduct by Rutherford. No settlement agreement was reached.
Since then the employee, Ed Michalowski, left the Treasurer's Office and filed a civil lawsuit this week alleging Rutherford sexually harassed him and asked Michalowski to perform campaign duties on state time.
Michalowski, 43, alleges in the suit that 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.
Rutherford's chief of staff Kyle Ham is also named in the suit. Michalowski says when he took his complaints to Ham, he was told "at least we have job security," and "you’re his friend, you talk to him."
Rutherford vehemently denied the allegations at a news conference, saying the timing before the primary makes it clear that it's politically-motivated.
"I strongly deny any -- any, inappropriate conduct, regardless of the date," Rutherford said.
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.