Guy Hits Illinois Guv Hopeful With Sex Harassment Suit

Treasurer Dan Rutherford's gubernatorial campaign might be in trouble
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2014 12:45 PM CST
Illinois state treasurer Dan Rutherford.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

(Newser) – One part of the lawsuit is kind of a yawner, politically speaking: A former employee of the state treasurer's office in Illinois says he was pressured to work on his boss' campaign for governor on company time, reports the Chicago Tribune. It's the other part that's generating national headlines: Ed Michawlowski, 43, accuses state treasurer Dan Rutherford of sexual harassment, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Among other things, he accuses Rutherford of grabbing his genitals during a staff retreat at Rutherford's house. Rutherford has angrily denied the allegations, which he calls politically motivated.

He vows to stay in the GOP primary, but one analyst tells AP that the allegations might doom him considering that social conservatives tend to turn out in state primaries. "This kind of accusation from another man is just going to be devastating to Rutherford with a lot of those voters," he says. "There's just no other way to portray this." The frontrunner is venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, and Rutherford has been running at No. 2. His campaign points out that the Rauner's campaign paid Michawlowski's attorney $3,500 last year to review an office lease. Voting is March 18. (Read more Illinois stories.)

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