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Lawsuit Filed Against Rutherford, Alleges Sexual Harrassment

Lawsuit Filed Against Rutherford, Alleges Sexual Harrassment

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

A former worker in the Illinois treasurer’s office — Ed Michalowski — says in a federal lawsuit that Treasurer Dan Rutherford made inappropriate sexual advances toward him and made him do political work on state time.

Michalowski says the advances began shortly after he went to work for the treasurer in April 2011.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press has found Michalowski has had financial problems of his own. He and his wife are divorcing. Public records show they filed for bankruptcy in 2011, claiming assets of $295,000 and liabilities of $642,000. A judgment of foreclosure and sale was entered against Michalowski’s Chicago condo in October. He says he has a new job and is “not in harm’s way financially.”

Political experts, like David Yepsen of the Southern Illinois University Paul Simon Public Policy institute, says allegations of sexual misconduct against a major political figure running for a high office is toxic.

Rutherford’s office, in a news release sent just before his Schaumburg news conference, vehemently denies any wrongdoing, noting some of the allegations included in the lawsuit don’t match up to official state documents, text messages and e-mails sent to and/or from Michalowski around the time the allegations are said to have occured.

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