State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is denying all the allegations in a lawsuit filed against him by one of his former employees. That employee is Ed Michalowski, who claims Rutherford both sexually harassed him and pressured him to do political work. Michalowski says Rutherford once invited him to stay overnight at the Treasurer’s home, only to make sexual advances. According to records provided by Rutherford’s staff, however, Michalowski drove home to Chicago on the night that supposedly happened.
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“I don’t know if Mr. Michalowski realizes he had signed his own travel voucher saying he had left Pontiac at 2 in the afternoon,” Rutherford said. Michalowski also alleges that Rutherford pressured him to organize events and find donors for the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, for which Rutherford served as the state chairman. Rutherford says an internal review found no evidence of wrongdoing, and claims there are no witnesses to back up Michalowski’s story. He also believes rival candidate Bruce Rauner is involved, but acknowledges he has no hard evidence to support that claim.
Michalowski remained an employee in the treasurer’s office until Rutherford first discussed the allegations on January 31, though Michalowski’s name was not mentioned at the time. He had previously worked under Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. Recently, he’s dealt with financial and marital struggles, which Rutherford hinted could be a factor in the timing of the lawsuit.