Rauner’s Former General Counsel Offers Rare Statement

Though Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s former top attorney, Dennis Murashko, has refused most requests for interviews since his departure last summer, his recent New Year's message on Facebook is raising eyebrows.

Murashko's removal in August -- nearly a week ahead of his planned exit and with reports of him being escorted to the Thompson Center front doors -- has produced many questions for Rauner.

Before he left, Murashko wrote an internal memo outlining guidelines about how the governor's office should separate government and campaign work.

The reason why Murashko left both sooner than expected, and with a reported escort, has not been explained. News of his departure came shortly after four staffers on the governor’s communications team resigned in the latest high-profile staff shake-up.

Politico has reported Murashko was the subject of a complaint alleging he misused the powers of his office.

Below is the text of Murashko's recent Facebook post:

"I’ve always especially enjoyed the New Year’s holiday. Growing up in Russia, that’s when you’d find presents under the tree. Reason enough to like it, no? But the feeling runs a tad deeper, so the holiday continues to have a special meaning even now, when gifts magically show up a week earlier. That's because New Year’s is a good time to look back and ahead.

2018 promises to be an exceptional year. But more on that in a couple of days.

This note is about 2017. And what a year, with three, very important takeaways.

Family is everything. A cliche, perhaps, but worth repeating. After leaving my last job in August, I was again reminded that the five people I leave at home when I go to work come first. They are the reason why the rest of it matters. It had always been easy for me to get wrapped up in a job and take Alice and the kids for granted. I hope to never make that mistake again.

On the professional side, smart, talented, and dedicated colleagues are irreplaceable. For the better part of 2017, I was fortunate to lead a group of just such lawyers. They truly cared about making the State of Illinois a better place. Individually and together, they stood in sharp contrast to those whose regrettable actions and vicious personal attacks left me disappointed, though not entirely surprised. But no regrets here. That fleeting disappointment is nothing compared with the immense pride I feel when I reflect on the work of the legal team and of many other outstanding public servants I encountered during my service in government.

And lastly, I had the opportunity to learn something invaluable about myself. Something I’m guessing most lawyers never really encounter, and perhaps fortunately so. I can now confidently say, because I know firsthand, that my professional integrity as a lawyer is nonnegotiable. In 2017, presented with a choice of doing the easy thing and doing the right thing, I chose the latter. And I’ve never regretted it since, not for one second. It’s why I’m now and always will be able to hold my head up high and be proud of my service in state government.

This is a fantastic holiday. To all of you, Happy New Year! May your 2018 be as outstanding as I know mine will be."

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