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Twisting in the wind

Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014

* I take no position yet on the current allegations against Treasurer Dan Rutherford. However, the fact that he’s unable to publicly fight back because the employee won’t officially resign until Feb. 10th bothers me. And the fact that the alleged victim here is remaining anonymous, while understandable on one level, is bothersome on a political level.

So, we get stories like this one

The employee told the Sun-Times in an interview on Monday that his complaint entailed harassment claims and pressure to do political work. The employee said he found it “unconscionable” that Rutherford characterized his complaint as being tied to political chicanery, rather than taking it seriously. […]

“If the individual decides to speak about his status or reveal his identity, that’s up to the individual,” she said. “The treasurer’s office has done all it can to protect the privacy of the individual even after the individual’s lawyer requested $300,000.”

Pardonnet repeated Rutherford’s assertion, made last week, that an internal review “found no basis in fact for the allegations” against the treasurer.

To that, the employee said: “the extent of the investigation was Dan saying ‘it’s not true.’”

We don’t even know what the specific allegations are. All we’re getting is incredibly vague stuff like this, and while I don’t want to defend inappropriate or unethical behavior, Rutherford is at a major disadvantage here because it’s very difficult to respond to a personnel matter.

* Then again, even if we knew the exact allegations, it could be just a “he said, he said” situation and how does Rutherford disprove that? Word on the grapevine is that others may talk, but that’s just the grapevine. If anything is substantiated by someone else, however, Rutherford is gonna be in major trouble here. Maybe even fatal.

* On the other hand, I am growing more uncomfortable with this “independent” investigator hired by Rutherford. From an e-mail sent to employees yesterday…

Please be advised that employees of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office may be contacted by Mr. Ron Braver, an independent investigator. If any employee is contacted, any time away from the office necessary to meet with Mr. Braver will be excused.

Rutherford’s people say the investigator will be asking people who have said they’re witnesses or corroborators. But what protections do these folks have? If they refuse to answer to avoid self-incrimination, what will happen to them? Rutherford’s people seem surprised at this question. Of course, they say, nobody’s gonna get fired or punished over what they say or refuse to say.

Under what authority is this investigator operating? Rutherford’s people say the treasurer has the authority to order up such an investigation. But what are the limits of this guy’s powers? No real answer.

Rutherford may be serious about getting to the bottom of this. But this probe could also be used to smoke out his interior enemies.

Here again, Rutherford appears to be at a disadvantage. I’m not sure how to resolve this in the time available before the primary. On the one hand, I feel quite bad for the guy. On the other, we do have to take this stuff seriously and he will eventually have to answer questions. But how? And when?

* And the Tribune has a valid point today

Which brings us to Dan Rutherford, who is mishandling a crisis he initiated Friday when he called a news conference to deny allegations that hadn’t been voiced elsewhere — and that he wouldn’t discuss. Rutherford accuses Rauner of fomenting this unspecified situation as an attack on him — “I believe in my heart Mr. Rauner is responsible.” Yet Rutherford offers no proof. Rutherford has a strong record and, as the only player in this foursome who has won statewide office, is a strong contender. But his quest to make the front-runner in this campaign the villain will boomerang if he can’t produce evidence: During the most challenging moment of his government career, Rutherford needs to assure voters that he’s not challenging the ethics of an opponent as part of a desperate political distraction play.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


117 Comments
  1. - Snucka - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    Rutherford was already at a disadvantage in this race, just like Brady and Dillard are. With allegations like this swirling, and likely to grow more serious before voting begins, he has no chance of becoming the Republican nominee for governor in 2014. It’s unfortunate if he is innocent, and I know he has a big ad buy coming up, but he needs to drop out of the race.


  2. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Why did Rutherford hire somebody when the investigation could be conducted by the Inspector General? I’m beyond confused on what exactly is going on here.


  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    This whole thing has the stink of political manuevering. I’m reminded of the Nixonian “Rat F%#&(&#” of Donald Segretti et.al.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    Said it yesterday …

    ===Longest 8 days for Dan Rutherford’s campaign.

    Kinda boxed both the political and governmental.===

    Rich is On Point.

    Speaking only for myself, the allegations or the belief one way or another is one point, seperate, to what is at play;

    No way governmentally or politically for Rutherford to respond, while the accuser and the accuser’s lawyer feel quite free letting the media know what they want dripping out.

    The Friday presser, the lame attempt at the Trib forum for endorsement, have really crippled the mechanisms and manner Rutherford can even go about answering, let alone answer any accusations.

    To the Special FBI hire;

    “Lawyer-Up”. If you think you need protection from emails that make it ominous if you don’t meet with the investigator, “Lawyer-Up.”

    There is a train, its on a high speed rail, and if you think you might be on that track for the accuser, or for Rutherford, and this goes down any road further …”Lawyer-Up”, and tell the 100% truth.

    Very sad times.


  5. - Justsayin - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    I respectfully disagree with your assessment, Rich. There have been a series of smears against Rauner competition. He claims none of them have to do with him. The media aren’t investigating any of these “mysterious smear campaigns” launched by secret parties with hidden finances. Rauner just claims he has nothing to do with that and when has that alone been enough for the media in Illinois? Rutherford has been clean as a whistle his entire political career. He is the only threat to Bruce Rauner winning the primary. Rutherford is right to call this out and point a finger at this ugly smear that he is - for all practical purposes - prevented from defending himself against. Why did he hold a press conference on Friday? Why did he have to hire an investigator? Because he had no other choice. It’s not like Rauner supporters and their friends in the media were going to ignore this - especially when they like the money he is spending in advertising.


  6. - Samurai - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Rutherford is coming across like a control freak out of control. Who are these investigators? The former FBI guy is one. But, do they serve the interests of the Office of Treasurer or the Treasurer personally, or both? If both, there is a potential conflict of interest.

    Same with the settlement negotiations that were evidently going on with Svenson and attorneys at the Office of Treasurer. Are the attorneys representing Rutherford, the agency or both. General counsel for the Office of Treasurer seems treading into conflict territory if discussing covering up the incident. If there is State money involved and issues involving the Office of Treasurer, this information should be transparent–not covered up.

    Dan has to get this together. It is too much of a distraction.


  7. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    ==who is mishandling a crisis he initiated Friday ==

    It is a mischaracterization to say that this was initiated by Rutherford. He was clearly responding to something that was about to go public.


  8. - Bill White - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    === I respectfully disagree with your assessment, Rich. ===

    I concur with this.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    ===It is a mischaracterization to say that this was initiated by Rutherford. He was clearly responding to something that was about to go public.===

    With respect, was that the best possible way to handle it Friday?

    No clear accusation, but deny it. No clear evidence, but blame an opponent?

    You can’t have a presser to get in front of something you refuse to be able to address fully, or even discuss openly.

    I get why they tried what they tried Friday, I do. I know I have no idea how it could have played out if Rutherford didn’t even do what he attempted, which again, I don’t even know what Friday was, but I do know, I would not let the Principle out there with more questions as to why the press was called, what is being denied, why is there an investigation, and what is hoped to be uncovered.

    If Rutherford went this “solo”, then he did. If Rutherford was encouraged to hold that presser Friday, and to handle it as they did, publically, then you let down Dan.

    Dan didn’t get in front of anything. Rutherford is now chasing this anyway … with now 7 days of silence to boot.

    How was all this good for the Treasurer, and Rutherford for Governor again? It’s not, and it wasn’t on Friday afternoon too.

    And I haven’t even gotten to the point of the allegations, and if they are even true.

    Not relevent to the poltical fallout right now, and that makes me most sick out of all this mess.


  10. - Tom Joad - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    The hiring of an independent investigator, paid by Rutherford’s office, has muddled any legitimate outcome from this investigation. Why would anyone substantiate the allegations made against Rutherford? The risk of losing one’s job or being transferred to another job would make it not worth while to co-operate.


  11. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    The employee is only “remaining anonymous” because all reporters on this story have given the employee anonymity at the same time they trumpet the employee’s allegations.

    This cloak of anonymity is doing readers a disservice because it doesn’t allow voters to make up their own minds with respect to whether they should find these allegations credible enough to vote against Rutherford over them. And its just too convenient for reporters to blame this all on Rutherfords press conference as introducing this into the bloodstream when there’s no way dan would have had the presser if reporters weren’t already asking about this and possibly going to publish these anonymous allegations any way.

    Its just obnoxious that readers are left so much in the dark on this where we have to trust a reporter’s hunch about whether there is any Rauner connection here or questionable motives by the accuser such that Rich can only tell us his “feeling” or Greg Hinz can report vaguely about what he “finds hard to believe” and throw out that the accuser is “said to be” in big-time debt.

    I don’t want your feelings or your beliefs Illinois/Chicago media. I want the facts! I want to know who this person is, what job my taxes have been paying them to do, what specific activity of impropriety is being alleged. That’s all. That’s the info that is actually relevant to how someone should vote.


  12. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    === Dan has to get this together. It is too much of a distraction. ===

    Easier said than done.


  13. - Bill White - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Oswego, there was no good way to handle this.

    Rutherford was placed in a “Kobayashi Maru” scenario (yes, a geek Star Trek reference).

    That suggests to me this was all orchestrated against him. Just an inference and a deduction and we need a whole lot more facts before we can make reasonable *final* judgments.


  14. - All is fair - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    I still don’t understand how Rutherford’s ability to comment will change when the employee is no longer an employee. It still remains a personnel matter. Anyone who has fired people knows that you avoid all talk about current or past employees.

    Rich, is this something he said to you or is it in a news article? He’s making a big mistake if he’s elevating hopes for information coming out when the guy is no longer employed. I doubt much changes.


  15. - Snucka - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    ==hisgirlfriday==
    Amen.


  16. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    ===there’s no way dan would have had the presser if reporters weren’t already asking about this===

    They weren’t, according to Rutherford’s office.

    As to the rest of your post, I can understand your frustration, but this is quite a delicate matter and you need to stop stomping your feet.


  17. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    Clearly, I don’t the truth behind this story… but Rutherford makes a good point: He’s been in public service for around 25 years, and he has had no allegations such as this surface except for just six weeks before a major Gubernatorial primary. The timing is suspicious.


  18. - The Historian - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    I’m 110% in agreement with HisGirlFriday!


  19. - Worth It - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    I am unconvinced that Rauner is behind this, and will remain so until I see real evidence. Many of the polls suggest Brady is running second to Rauner, and that Rauner is benefiting from all three remaining in the race. How would knocking out one of the two candidates south of I-80 help Rauner?

    It’s more likely that the accuser (whether telling the truth or lying) was using the timing of the campaign as leverage for a quick settlement and that Rutherford, knowing this information would ultimately leak, determined the best tack was to deny it publicly and spin the allegations as a vile attack by the frontrunner.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    - Bill White -,

    There is one way to seem as though you are chasing, and there is another to look like you can’t get ahead of “it”, and paranoid to boot.

    The better way, given what little I know, and with the incredible benefit of hindsight; Let it roll, and chase it.

    I will say, although I do have the luxury of hindsight now, I thought from Jump Street this idea of getting ahead of an allegation you can’t dicuss, from an accuser you can’t name, about sometihng you won’t comment on … not my idea of being media savy in a crisis.

    It is as though Rutherford took the bait, continued the discussion, and is, by personnel and other issues, so wrapped up in what can’t be said, that the blaiming of Rauner is now what looks even more foolish … today … without knowing any facts to make a real decision …

    Let it ride on a Friday, see if it hits on Sunday, in the papers, and then respond to what is reported.

    Rutherford tried to get ahead of inuendo, you know of anyone who has been successful at that?


  21. - DuPage Rep - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    The worst part of that press conference, aside from the fact that it was a stupid idea and caused people to speculate about what the allegations were, is that Rutherford made patently false statements about Rauner’s D-2 reports.

    Rutherford had to have known that Svenson was reported in the 2013 3rd quarter filings, and to use the refiling of the reports to show employee names as proof of a coverup is disingenuous at best.

    I wasn’t supporting Rutherford to begin with, but I did like him as a person. Now, he is just another politician willing to say and do anything to get elected. Not worthy to be governor anymore.


  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    Believe me, I share the frustration.

    However, this is not as simple as some of you think it is. We have some potentially explosive allegations. The accuser refuses to say anything at all whatsoever unless his name is kept off the story, the Rutherford administration will not confirm his name, his lawyer won’t confirm his name.

    We’re stuck in some journalistic traditions here.

    For one, this is an alleged victim we’re talking about here. Victims are usually given wide latitude, particularly when it comes to sexual stuff. And when it involves two men? Oy. There’s a natural reluctance to go too far here.

    It’s not a satisfying situation by any means. You have to try and somehow balance the alleged victim’s rights with the rights of the accused. And we’re most definitely in uncharted waters here.

    But as the hours and days tick by, something is gonna have to be done. I’m just not sure what that something is as of yet.


  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    ===It’s more likely that the accuser (whether telling the truth or lying) was using the timing of the campaign as leverage for a quick settlement===

    That’s probably a likely scenario.


  24. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Rutherford is handling this rather poorly. His presser on Friday simply ignited this whole thing and caused all of the twists and turns to take place in the public eye.

    The investigation should be conducted by the Office of the Executive Inspector General. Unfortunately that office is a train wreck as we’ve seen many times and operates very, very slowly. So while I understand why he chose to have his own “independent investigation,” I don’t understand why he chose to make everything public at the very start of the process. If the investigation was going to take a week, why couldn’t he initiate it quietly, let it proceed, and then if it leaked, he could have come forward at that time to say he was conducting an investigation.

    It just seemed that the strategy he chose was destined to produce very bad political results.

    While I like Dan and voted for Dan even though I’m a Democrat, I have been really shocked by his unbelievably poor performance in this campaign. First there was the weird decision to do the Windy City Times interview which boxed him into a corner…then the petition fiasco…then he has been as milquetoast as milquetoast can be on the trail and in public debates, and now this. Allegations aside, I think the only logical conclusion is that Dan Rutherford is not ready for prime time.


  25. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    The issue as I see it is that Rutherford is fundamentally a good guy that is up against a total snake. I don’t see a good outcome for Rutherford, but I’m still hoping.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    ===We’re stuck in some journalistic traditions here.===

    And…

    ===And we’re most definitely in uncharted waters here.===

    Yes.

    My comments have been about the handling of Friday, and the fallout after.

    The rest, this is so off the grid, given the possible accusations, and victim’s rights and the rights of the accused, that privacy, that I have no beef. My beef is that Rutherford put into play the media frenzy he tried to get in front of, and only going by what I am reading here and elsewhere, the Friday press idea has backfired, purely on a political view of the circumstances.

    I have no problem with the anonymity, and these are unchartered waters from that point on.


  27. - To Be Honest - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    To be honest internal investigations as specified in the IL Ethics Act have no teeth when the “Ethics Advisor” is appointed internally and the counties States Attorney’s have authority over outside investigations.

    Something needs to change.


  28. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    In my opinion, Rutherford’s error was in taking an extortion attempt and trying to turn it into a political attack by Rauner, without evidence or a direct trail. He should have went to the proper authorities first.


  29. - Endangered Moderate Species - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    Dan is presenting a perception of paranoia.

    He may have good reason to be paranoid, but those reasons are not currently understood by the voters.


  30. - MrJM - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    There’s something really unsavory about the kind of person who would take shots at a candidate for governor but won’t use his real name.

    – MrJM


  31. - Samurai - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Cannot help but believe that Rutherford will soon reach the point where withdrawing his candidacy is the only reasonable option. Just don’t see how Dan can manage all the moving parts.
    Rutherford and Dillard are the only credible challenge to Rauner. Dan’s voter support will mostly go to Bill Brady.


  32. - Tom Joad - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    If the press didn’t threaten to release this story, then Dan’s calling of a press conference was done to try to get the voters on his side by putting the blame on Rauner. But he didn’t have the evidence to back it up. Whoever gave him the advice to call the press conference should change careers.


  33. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    What HGF said.


  34. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    @Rich

    OK on the one hand you tell me to stop stomping my feet with impatience, but on the other hand you tell me there are “potentially explosive allegations” involved. Explosive conveys some immediacy and urgency to them.

    Victims of rape are given wide latitude, sure. Appropriately so. But victims of sexual harassment are often not given latitude by the media. No one reported Anita Hill’s allegations about Clarence Thomas without her name. No one reported Paula Jones’s allegations about Clinton without her name.

    Sexual harassment is such a catch-all allegation anyway that even that is not helpful to voters/readers when that could be anything from off-color jokes to physical advances.

    And just the fact that you admit you are more squeamish about reporting on allegations involving two men makes me even more confused about this story and whether I would find them as “explosive” as you do. Is this hesitancy to not “go too far there” because you think your readers would find the activity alleged “icky” or because you don’t want to seem like you are going to “out” somebody or what?

    I know you’re in a tough spot with sources and believe me I get wanting to uphold that. But sometimes people who play around with explosives get burned.


  35. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Couple of points. The Inspector General is hired (and could be fired) by Rutherford too. It isn’t like the IG doesn’t have a conflict of interest too. That said, the time the IG requires is also well beyond the primary timeline too. And depending on the allegation, the IG might not necessarily be the right person to investigate either. IGs in Illinois at the state level aren’t like IGs in other places. They have a pretty narrow mandate. I don’t think it’s a hard box, then again, pressuring state workers for political work is certainly in that box.

    But as others have said, the IG statute is kind of a joke as illustrated that during the low point of Blagojevich selling every state asset and contract not nailed down, the OEIG was issuing opinions about college students with political bumper stickers on their cars in student housing parking lots.


  36. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    ===No one reported Anita Hill’s allegations about Clarence Thomas without her name. No one reported Paula Jones’s allegations about Clinton without her name.===

    That’s not a brilliant analogy. Paula Jones held a press conference and Hill testified to the US Senate.


  37. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Rich did a great service yesterday calling out Rauner for peddling the smarmy, homophobic “dudes in a hotel room” story that the Sun-Times put on the front page, to their shame.

    I haven’t seen a denial from Rauner that he was behind that.

    I haven’t seen any of the usual suspects from the Sun-Times defending their journalism.


  38. - Served - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    This whole situation feels..just slimy. While victims do deserve some leeway for anonymity, at what point is he taking advantage of this courtesy in order to leverage his position against Rutherford’s legally-required confidentiality?

    How is the public supposed to evaluate the claims and their effect on a candidate’s ability to govern? What’s the balance between the public’s need for information on an elected official and a private individual’s privacy?

    In this case, at least, I feel like the complainant is close to breaching his right to privacy just by speaking to the media and leaking information bit by bit, which is coming off as an attempt to influence the public’s view of the situation and force Rutherford to settle.


  39. - just pandering - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    Rutherford most certainly is mishandling this.

    If he was being blackmailed, as he says he was, then he should call the cops. An “independent” investigation is just stupid.

    I’m not sure why this employee has to remain anonymous. Whatever he/she did was on the clock, so it’s fair game–a public employee has no right to privacy when it comes to how he/she spends her/his work day. There’s no hint that anything sexual was involved–if I understand this correctly, he/she is saying that he/she was forced by Rutherford to do political work on state time. If that, in fact, is the allegation, then there’s no reason I can see that this person can’t be named.

    Am I missing something here? Or is this just the latest example of this state’s obsession with secrecy and innuendo?

    If I was Rutherford and hadn’t done anything wrong, I would have named names at that press conference and told them to bring it. That he didn’t do that and that this is playing out the way that it is makes me think that there might actually be something to this.


  40. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    And if you look at the record carefully, you’ll see that Paul Simon outed Anita Hill on fear that she would not testify in public.


  41. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    What’s most bothersome is this nameless “victim” and his lawyer are using the media to push their case and vilify Rutherford, yet the media must protect his privacy. That’s why we’re mad.


  42. - Siriusly - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    If this isn’t political, if this is purely an HR issue - why talk to the Sun-Times? Why not let your lawyer due the talking and proceed with your legal action against the state.

    The employee may have had a legitimate claim, but they are proceeding without any legitimacy at all.


  43. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    I have much respect by the way Rich is handling this. Sticking to the facts and trying to temper the speculation. That is far better than Rutherford has done. He opened the door wide. Anyone who has, or knows someone who felt what is alleged may understand all of these questions. What if we find out they tried to stop any of this? The if’s can continue until we know. Clearly, we will know soon enough. I just feel strongly that there is more than the political timing lens. We know this. The candidate and the accusers entire world is going to change soon. If there is no there.. there… Then let’s judge all. I for one am just sad either way. I want to hear about solutions to our deep fiscal issues. I have not heard many…From anyone.


  44. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    It’s not too late to stop the bleeding, but it’s way too late to keep defending a poorly planned and executed press conference. Rutherford should issue a statement or even read it before a live presser saying:
    I handled this poorly because frankly I was shocked by the allegation and what appeared to be timing to maximize political leverage. I was reacting before the allegation became public which caused confusion. I’m sorry.
    As it stands today, an employee of the State Treasurer’s office is claiming harassment. I know this is not the case and time and investigation will prove this so. In an office this size, it’s not terribly unusual that any employee might feel slighted in one manner or another. We do our best to keep an upbeat workplace, but not everyone will be completely happy with the tasks we are required to perform here for the public good. I’ve never witnessed any workplace that did not experience a disgruntled employee at some point or another. It certainly doesn’t rise to the occasion of the 6 o’clock news and I should have known better. My reputation is very important to me. I can assure you that I have acted professionally at all times and that will be made clear by an investigation of these matters. I overreacted and caused this to be a much greater issue than is warranted. The employee is within his/her rights to launch a complaint. We’re within ours to defend it.

    Then Dan, don’t appoint your own investigator and pronounce him “independent”, no matter how true that might be. This would stop the bleeding.


  45. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    –And if you look at the record carefully, you’ll see that Paul Simon outed Anita Hill on fear that she would not testify in public. –

    Simon denied that. What record are you looking at, carefully?


  46. - Justsayin - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Disagree completely. Rutherford is caught between a rock and a Rauner. He had two choices - preempt the controversy by holding a news conference and correctly ID’ing this as a political smear or let the media do what they do. No reason at all why Christine Svenson who is tied to Rauner would be representing this employee. No reason at all - other than politics. Also no reason why they would be chatting it up to the Sun-Times which Rauner used to be a part owner of. Other than - yep you guessed it - politics. The one who could end up in the dog house here with his smears is Rauner.


  47. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Oh, he denied it. How silly of me. Read Clarence Thomas’ account. Or watch it again if it’s in some archive somewhere. Senators Simpson, Hatch, Specter and even Biden were furious with him at that time. I’m not going to do your research for you.


  48. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    –I’m not going to do your research for you.–

    That’s you game, dude. Make assertions, never back it up.


  49. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    ===you’ll see that Paul Simon outed Anita Hill ===

    OK, even stipulating that, that’s still not the same sort of situation that we have here.

    It’s almost like some of you want to know who this alleged victim is so you can pounce all over him. Take a breath.


  50. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    Talked extensively with my wife, a journalist, about this last night. Her view was that while victims in criminal cases involving sexual contact are protected, those involved in civil litigation generally aren’t, with the caveat that usually something is filed and the name comes out. Unless the accuser intends to file criminal charges, to my mind, his name and the allegations need to come out.

    I feel many of the adjectives that others have ascribed to themselves - this is slimy, sleazy, and just doesn’t smell right. The fact that this is a situation where DR’s hands are essentially tied and he can’t say anything because it’s a personnel matter, and the nature of the allegations (which seem to be morphing) raise a lot more questions than they answer. Call me cynical, but it really feels like a designed ploy to put him in a trick box legally and politically. It really does feel orchestrated to me.

    Generally speaking, if Rich tells us to sit tight, there’s more to the story, the media wasn’t tipped, etc. etc., I almost always take him at his word - and I do this time as well, as in, I belive Rich believes what he’s saying. But this one doesn’t pass the smell test for me and none of it adds up. At this point, I’m convinced something else is going on, it’s simply much too convenient that the “facts” as we know them around this are effectively eliminating DR’s ability to respond and potentially his viability as a candidate.

    This guy *might* be making accusations of sexual harassment and apparently is definitely making accusations of being coerced to do political work. He wasn’t raped or the victim of sexual *assault* - his name needs to come out.


  51. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    ===it’s simply much too convenient that the “facts” as we know them around this are effectively eliminating DR’s ability to respond and potentially his viability as a candidate.===

    If Rutherford wants to speak, I’ll print it. So far, he hasn’t.


  52. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    To the Trib Editorial Board post from yesterday’s GOP Endorsement Panel. What a joke:

    ===Businessman Bruce Rauner is riding a very different wave: He scorns the insider maneuverability that Brady, Dillard and Rutherford have spent their careers burnishing===

    They don’t even qualify that with a single sentence about any of the numerous insider deals he’s engaged in? Give me a break.


  53. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Thanks Rich, apologize for taking the bait on the tangent. To the post, the accuser will become public soon enough. His/her anonymity will be gone with plenty of time to cross-examine. Dan opened the door that this person needed protection (albeit temporary) from. Now it’s a legal chess match. Both parties will have their say. The big difference is one is a public employee with a private life, the other is a public official who has no expectation of privacy on a matter like this. When the suit is public, so will he/she be.


  54. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Slinger,I’ll address you later. The moderator has asked us to stay on point.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    ===I handled this poorly because frankly I was shocked by the allegation and what appeared to be timing to maximize political leverage. I was reacting before the allegation became public which caused confusion.===

    “What allegations, specifically?”

    ===As it stands today, an employee of the State Treasurer’s office is claiming harassment. I know this is not the case and time and investigation will prove this so.===

    “There are many types of harrassment, what kind of harrassment are you being accused of?”

    ===In an office this size, it’s not terribly unusual that any employee might feel slighted in one manner or another. We do our best to keep an upbeat workplace, but not everyone will be completely happy with the tasks we are required to perform here for the public good. I’ve never witnessed any workplace that did not experience a disgruntled employee at some point or another.===

    “What ’slight’ are you talking about? Do you have unhappy workers in the Treasurer’s Office?

    ===I’ve never witnessed any workplace that did not experience a disgruntled employee at some point or another. It certainly doesn’t rise to the occasion of the 6 o’clock news and I should have known better.===

    “What happened that wouldn’t warrant the 6 o’clock news to cover it? If you never witnessed it, how do you know it hasn’t happened?”

    ===I can assure you that I have acted professionally at all times and that will be made clear by an investigation of these matters. I overreacted and caused this to be a much greater issue than is warranted. The employee is within his/her rights to launch a complaint. We’re within ours to defend it.===

    “What are you defending yourself from? Why the second press conference to say you are sorry about the first, and open more doors to specualtion?”

    To -A Guy … -,

    It would be gas on a fire. The damage is done to the Friday event. you re-group, wait the 7 days, now, and move on as a responder, not as trying to get ahead of it. Rutherford lost that.


  56. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    -If Rutherford wants to speak, I’ll print it. So far, he hasn’t.-

    Since this is a personnel matter, wouldn’t it be a violation of the law to comment and/or open up his office to further civil action?

    A couple of addendums: Rutherford ain’t my horse in the race, but I like him as an individual. Second, it’s extremely unsavory that the accuser and his counsel are peddling this as ‘news’ without identification. A news organization should take the view that until you’re ready to put your name on it and clarify the accusation, we’re not writing about it. Now maybe Rutherford screwed the pooch on that one with the presser, I’ll grant that.

    Finally, if this guy is so tied in with D’s at the city and state level and has done a lot of work for them, why did he need a Cook GOP shill for an attorney? Lots of great D attorneys and if he had the connections, they would’ve been easy to identify.


  57. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    To Oswego Willie,
    Put down the fiddle brother, Rome is on fire. Everyone knows there’s an employee with an allegation at this point. Everyone knows the person has now resigned with several days for it to be effective. No one knows what the precise allegation is, but plenty everywhere including here are speculating. At your consulting service, recommend 7 days. At mine, we’ll say we acted in haste, the person has some rights, so do I, and we’ll deal with it appropriately. If it’s political skulduggery, we’ll make sure everyone knows it. Letting this thing fester for 7 days would be insane. There’s already talk of “more” coming forward. Maybe. Maybe not. Last Friday, DR was way too far out in front of this. Today, he’s miles behind it and has a very limited shot at stopping the nuttiness. Let’s see where we are in 7 days.


  58. - Laughtrack - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    Rutherford should drop out of the race.


  59. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===Everyone knows there’s an employee with an allegation at this point….No one knows what the precise allegation is, but plenty everywhere including here are speculating.===

    So, you recommend sending out Rutherford, who can’t talk about a current employee for the next 7 days, and you want Rutherford to “comment” on speculation, and then decide, on the fly, what is going to be said about the allegations?

    Yikes! I would rather learn to swing on a trapeze without a net than roll out Rutherford with those parameters, and given Rutherford can’t discuss the employee for 7 days.

    Better to answer and chase specifics, than try to get ahead of a steam engine, that even you get in front of, will steam right over your answers.

    ===There’s already talk of “more” coming forward. Maybe. Maybe not.===

    lol, which is it?

    Look, you can’t go out there and be “honest” and then go out there and have no comment.

    ===If it’s political skulduggery, we’ll make sure everyone knows it.===

    I am sure the Press would like that juicy morsel too, but you go out there and even hint of that, and then there is no “there” there, far worse than not saying anything at all.

    I don’t play a misical instrument, unless you count a kazoo as one, and I have a recorder from 5th grade in a dingy box I kept that I could play a tune or two, but this ain’t fiddle noise, or kazoos or even a recorder squeaking, this is real time politcal damage control, with those trying to help Rutherford playing with an arm behind their back. The seven days can be a “gift”, allowing the other side to drip, and respond, keeping the ide of the drip as a question.

    We don’t know what is all there. Why should go out there again and help tarnish things with inuendo? You don’t.

    Hold your powder, a week comes fast, like a train comes fast when you try to get in front of it, but you watch it roll over you instead of out-running it.


  60. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    @ Joe Bidenopolous: Finally, if this guy is so tied in with D’s at the city and state level and has done a lot of work for them, why did he need a Cook GOP shill for an attorney? Lots of great D attorneys and if he had the connections, they would’ve been easy to identify.

    That, to me, is the $64,000 question that nobody seems able to answer.


  61. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    === that nobody seems able to answer. ===

    I answered it already.


  62. - Challengerrt - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    Rutherford was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t

    Enough said


  63. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Hey Willie, two theories and 7 days. We’ll see how it turns out.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    ===Rutherford was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t===

    ————————————————-

    === ===there’s no way dan would have had the presser if reporters weren’t already asking about this===

    They weren’t, according to Rutherford’s office.===

    Hmmm.

    No. I wasn’t. Rutherford chose to get in front of something, with no immediate cause to believe the Press was going to break any news on it.

    Rutherford chose to stand and leave the door open. That’s it. There was no (according to Rich) immediate threat to get out there and speak before the printing press inked the paper.

    Rutherford gambled, so far he is losing, but there are enough chips in his pot to pay many more hands.

    Rutherford goes out there again, then we all will see if he has a full house, or a pair of Deuces.


  65. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    “No. It wasn’t”

    Apologies.


  66. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    OW, to be more clear, there was a fear that reporters would ask about this. But they hadn’t as of the time Rutherford went public.

    Rock. Hard place. Did he do right? I dunno. Waiting would be very risky. But the way he did it? Not good. Rauner diversion isn’t working, likely backfiring. Not well thought out. He could’ve tried a different way to preempt this.

    Either way, what’s done is done and we’re all left with this mess.

    I spent half the blog post talking about how unfair it is to Rutherford that the accuser’s name isn’t out there. But what happens when it is?

    That’s when the stuff is really gonna hit the fan.

    Yeah, the accuser will be accused of all sorts of motivations, including desperate need for money.

    But when all the allegations are finally made public, who’s that gonna hurt more? Rutherford, is my bet. At least in the short term.


  67. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    @hisgirlfriday - respectfully, I could not disagree more.

    Victims in such cases almost always reveal their names through either:

    A. Public documents as part of legal proceedings
    B. Via a time and place of their own choosing

    In both cases, the victim retains control over how and when their name is made public. In many cases, this involves a press conference with their lawyer.

    That is what happened in the case of Sharon Bialek, Charlotte Lewis, Gennifer Flowers, Jodie Fisher, Lauren Odes, and many others.

    The complainant’s name will come out, as it always does. But the media racing to “out” alleged crime victims against their own will is a terrible, reckless and intimidating idea, especially if the alleged crimes are sexual in nature.

    The relevant facts do not change with or without a name at this point. What is the purpose of publicizing their name against their will at the moment, unless it is to attempt bashing and discrediting the alleged victim?


  68. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    Thanks, Rich.

    The idea of what could/would/will happen once the accuser’s name is public will be huge, and then there will be the return volley of details of what is being alleged … it goes on and on.

    ===Either way, what’s done is done and we’re all left with this mess.===

    See: “Fallout”

    Troubling events, yet to see a conclusion.


  69. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    One of the worst parts of this entire episode is that Rutherford probably had the best chance of beating Quinn.


  70. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===unless it is to attempt bashing and discrediting the alleged victim?===

    And that’s partly why I haven’t revealed any names as of yet.


  71. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    === And that’s partly why I haven’t revealed any names as of yet. ===

    Also part of why you earned the respect and reputation you have over the years.


  72. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    This entire discussion is getting too depressing. Quick, post a picture of Oscar or something, lol.


  73. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Rich-

    I could be wrong here but what I’ve seen you offer is the how - he was referred by a Republican friend with no real Rauner connection. That doesn’t tell me the *why* though. If he’s D-connected, why didn’t he go that route? Could be a telling answer.


  74. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    Sorry, I disagree. It is not a “delicate matter” when someone makes allegations to the media about an elected official under cloak of anonymity. I don’t recall the media refusing to name Anita Hill. And I don’t believe that the “two men” aspect requires more delicate handling.

    If the accuser wants to stay under the radar, stop calling reporters. Otherwise, Dan deserves the chance to tell his side of the story.


  75. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    === That doesn’t tell me the *why* though===

    A friend who knew the person referred him to her.


  76. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    ====If the accuser wants to stay under the radar, stop calling reporters. ===

    I don’t think he is.


  77. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    And Anita Hill was dealt with above in comments. Apples and oranges.


  78. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    Sorry, HGF — didn’t see that you’d already mentioned Anita Hill.

    At this point, I think it is bogus to call the accuser a “crime victim.” First of all, sexual harassment is a tort, not a crime, I believe. If the guy was raped or otherwise assaulted, then he needs to call the cops and file a complaint. If not, then he doesn’t deserve to be treated like he’s the guest star in a very special episode of Law and Order: SVU.

    I mean, gee whiz. I am going to call the S-T and tell them that Bruce Rauner was doing very bad things in my vicinity at the Whole Foods the other day. I am not going to say what these things were, but I can tell you I was very, very upset. I am so upset, in fact, that on the day after the primary I am going to file a lawsuit for intentional infliction of emotional harm. But until then, I am going to talk to reporters under veil of anonymity, because I am a way delicate flower and I am afraid that people will be mean to me.

    But really — Bruce Rauner. Whole Foods. VERY BAD THINGS. And you can quote me (anonymously, of course) on that.


  79. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    ====If the accuser wants to stay under the radar, stop calling reporters. ===

    The Sun-Times made it “seem” as though the accuser is calling. I thought the same thing.


  80. - Percival - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    On no reporters asking questions before the conference, can give you the name of the reporter I have been told of and the persons he sought to question. And when. I believe one person still has the business card left by the reporter. I am not first hand on it, but heard the account from a close personal friend of those pursued.


  81. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    Rich, if he’s not calling reporters, and he’s not picking up the phone when they call, then what’s happening? Is this a “hacked cell phone” situation?

    Anita Hill didn’t come forward voluntarily. She was an unwilling witness. And as someone who staked out her home and office after her name was made public, I can tell you that she was NOT interested in talking to reporters.


  82. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    === when someone makes allegations to the media about an elected official under cloak of anonymity ===

    Remember, the first person to go to the media and blow this story up in public was the accused, not the accuser.


  83. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    ===And as someone who staked out her home and office after her name was made public===

    And you want me to do that now? Forget it.

    Also, what FKA said. Rutherford is the one who brought this up.


  84. - Konda Chilly - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    I don’t get the Rauner motivation here. Crippling Rutherford or causing him to drop out hurts Rauner. Brady or Dillard have more motivation than Rauner to push these stories.


  85. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    No, Rich, that’s not what I meant. I was just saying that, from very personal experience, I can tell you that Anita Hill was NOT talking to reporters.

    If this guy doesn’t want to be in the public eye, he should stop talking to reporters. And reporters should not let him lob anonymous comments at a sitting official who is legally barred from responding.


  86. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    ===Rutherford is the one who brought this up.===

    Yes. Rutherford tried to get ahead of this, and right or wrong, it isn’t going at all well for all parties involved.


  87. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    ==If this guy doesn’t want to be in the public eye===

    He was launched into the public eye by Rutherford last Friday. Perhaps you missed that press conference.


  88. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    Also, Rutherford claimed, without real evidence and even disproved evidence, that the guy was motivated out of some desire to help Bruce Rauner and was engaging in an illegal shakedown.

    I don’t like this anonymous situation at all, as I made clear in my post.

    But the victim getting a bit of leeway after that attack is no real surprise.


  89. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    In other words, dial down the bloodlust.


  90. - PolPal56 - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    The alleged victim (I’ll call him AL) shouldn’t be giving interviews if he isn’t willing to come forward with his identity. He should let his lawyer speak for him until he is willing to be fully public, in my opinion.

    I was fine with anonymity for AL since it was Rutherford who brought the matter to the press. Rutherford handled it poorly. And seemingly very oddly.

    But once AL gave an interview and spoke to the press in his own voice instead of through his lawyer, he should have been identified. He should have been quoted by name. THAT is the point where I feel that AL burned his right to anonymity on this matter.


  91. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Gloria Allred would be happy to explain the fact that complainants in these sorts of cases typically disclose their own names to the public, rather than vice-versa.

    She has built an empire off this well established, and well reasoned, ethical practice by the media.

    Obviously, the complainant’s name will come out. And obviously, some people cannot wait to begin attacking the alleged victim.


  92. - PolPal56 - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    My post wasn’t in defiance of you request to dial it down, Rich. I was typing it as you were posting yours.

    Rutherford took charge of the opening of this can of worms - but I think he used Brucey’s sledgehammer!


  93. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    I really don’t care who the alleged victim is. The timing makes it an obvious shakedown. What I really don’t like is they are trying to shake out my money…I mean the taxpayers.

    I applaud Rutherford bringing this out into the open as best he can.


  94. - sad - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    rich - with respect to you, i think you’re mixed up on this issue. rutherford did not ‘launch’ the purported complainant into the media. rutherford simply launched the fact of a potential complaint against him. the complainant, whoever he is, launched himself out of the legal forum and into the political forum by talking to the press and authorizing his lawyer to talk to the press about his allegations. and in doing this, the complainant revealed his identity to the reporters. dan might not be able to reveal that identity, but why is the press so happy to do so? certainly, in both the legal and the political/newspaper forums, the identity of someone who alleges sexual assault might be protected. but neither the legal nor the political forums protect the identify of someone who is alleging sexual harassment or illegal politicking in a public office. i think the way this unfolded has made journalists (including you) a little confused about the rules. essentially, journalists are acting as schils for someone who, thus, far, has decided to go public with apparently scurrilous allegations. and for reasons that aren’t clear, journalists are giving this guy the best of both worlds: he’s being treated as a “victim” of sexual assault despite the fact that he has placed himself squarely in the political arena. rich — if a staffer or former staff to Rauner called the Sun-Times and said that he had been sexually harassing her, would they keep her identify secret? I don’t think so. so why treat this guy any differently? if it’s a case of alleged sexual assault, then say so and move on. if it’s not, reporters should stop trying to protect this guy’s identity — since he himself has decided to spread his allegations in the political/newspaper arena.


  95. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    Sad, please be careful. I haven’t seen an allegation of sexual assault, anywhere. Words have meaning.


  96. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    Make no mistake, I think Rutherford has handled this horribly. But I still don’t understand why the alleged victim is allowed to speak anonymously. Either give your name, or stay out of the papers. This isn’t bloodlust — I just don’t understand the rationale for this.


  97. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    ===certainly, in both the legal and the political/newspaper forums, the identity of someone who alleges sexual assault might be protected. but neither the legal nor the political forums protect the identify of someone who is alleging sexual harassment or illegal politicking in a public office. i think the way this unfolded has made journalists (including you) a little confused about the rules. essentially, journalists are acting as schils for someone who, thus, far, has decided to go public with apparently scurrilous allegations.===

    Lots of speculation there, and the questioning of the entire media should make you take some pause that maybe there is more that needs to flesh itslef out before rolling out articles.

    I don’t think anyone is being a shill, actually, I think the media, today, are foing their best, given what is going on. I never would have guessed protecting an identity would make someone a shill. I will add that to the “shill” criteria.


  98. - Tom Joad - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    After reading these latest quotes, it is obvious that if the employee released his name to the public it would result in the same treatment Bartman received from Cub fans.


  99. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    ===But I still don’t understand why the alleged victim is allowed to speak anonymously.===

    I would guess once the alleged victim is identified, nothing short of going down the entire background will be in order.

    What if the background on “a” victim is enough to take pause, but is it enough for the alleged incidents not to have happened?

    My Point? Maybe before naming the alleged victim, and going down all the ways you can tear down an alleged victim, those in the media are making sure they have the allegations, the “proof”, the “falsehoods” ready, as everyone and their brother rip into the alleged victim, solely on their background(?)


  100. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    ==He was launched into the public eye by Rutherford last Friday. Perhaps you missed that press conference.==

    If the complainant’s lawyer was offering Rutherford a $300,000 confidentiality agreement, then the inverse was also implied. Therefore, once Rutherford rejected the agreement, Dan could rightly expect the complainant to go public. Whether Dan waited or not, it seems that the complainant was planning to launch himself into the public eye. Dan may have sped up the process by picking the day, but the launching was something the complainant knew or should have know was likely to occur, especially if his offer was rejected.


  101. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    Willy, the victim-shaming has already started, with or without his name out there. I’m not going to repeat the allegations, but they’re out there in today’s coverage, not in Capitol Fax.

    The entire episode is disgusting to me on several levels. Disappointed in a lot of people.


  102. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    1) The person who benefits the most from this story is either Dillard or Brady, not Rauner. They are pushing to become the not-Bruce.

    2) A $3500 one-off real estate contract is awfully thin gruel to declare Svenson a Rauner stooge.

    3) If this was extortion, Rutherford should have called the US Attorney, not a press conference.


  103. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 4:12 pm:

    Here’s an excerpt from Svenson’s statement that I found curious and haven’t seen any follow-up.

    –We were exchanging information and negotiating on a good-faith basis for days until as recently as yesterday. These types of negotiations are, in my experience, common with regard to the Treasurer’s office and have nothing to do with politics or the gubernatorial primary.–

    These types of negotiations are “common with regard to the Treasurer’s office?”

    Really? For the life of me, I can’t see how the Treasurer’s office could ever pay out $300K in hush money. Who would cut the check, the comptroller? I doubt it.


  104. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    IMHO the Trib seems to be onto something. It’s not only the allegations, but it’s the response to the allegations.


  105. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    - AA -,

    I hear ya.

    This is going to be one long week.


  106. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 4:37 pm:

    Haven’t seen anything that would qualify as “victim shaming” in the media. Mostly just the same denials and refusal to elaborate.


  107. - Snucka - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 4:39 pm:

    Sorry, that was me at 4:37. I’d argue that Rutherford didn’t launch the guy into the public eye, as the accuser is still anonymous and could have declined comment when tracked down by reporters.


  108. - Yessiree - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    So what’s the process if you are a state employee and you are filing a workplace complaint? Something just isn’t adding up. The (now former) employee files a complaint, and hires a lawyer. Is it typical for the employer, in this case the Treasurer’s office, to offer a settlement? Just hypothetically, if the employer agreed to the suggested settlement, would the records be sealed or otherwise unavailable for public scrutiny?


  109. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 5:01 pm:

    The Tribbies report that the employee has resigned from the Treasurer’s office.


  110. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 5:08 pm:

    - wordslinger -,

    The employee has “days”, so the offical date will be effective Feb. 10.

    So, for the next week, the “former” employee is a “current” employee. A limbo that puts Rutherford in a tough spot, given the next 7 days, the employee is still on the books.


  111. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 5:20 pm:

    But then again, my last post was within the context of Illinois, not Federal courts.


  112. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 5:30 pm:

    =Haven’t seen anything that would qualify as “victim shaming” in the media.=

    That’s reassuring.


  113. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 5:37 pm:

    I am with Rich. A little patience.


  114. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 7:12 pm:

    Re: victim shaming-a media source reported an allegation regarding the victim’s personal life which inferred quite clearly a particular motive for bringing the complaint.
    The allegation was not verified.
    What else do you call it?

    Like I said-a disappointing week.


  115. - Classico - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 7:27 pm:

    Why do we have Inspectors General again?


  116. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 9:46 pm:

    word, I haven’t missed the point of your post, I’m just trying to think it through bureaucratically. (AA’s default response?)

    The Treas’ Ofc. Probably doesn’t have an appropriation for settlement of lawsuits. If and when some settlement had been reached, would the Treasurer request a supplemental? Holy Awkward Bunch of Meetings, Batman! In my State Agency experience, in the rare occasions where the Department might get sued, everything went to the Court of Claims-and waited.

    I can’t imagine how the scenario under discussion is “common” anywhere in State Government unless a lot has changed since AA turned in his keys.


  117. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 4, 14 @ 10:16 pm:

    AA, I can’t figure out the logistics of 300K in hush money. Can’t be state money. How do you launder through a campaign fund? Rutherford wouldn’t have that kind of personal cash.

    How, exactly, would you pull it off?


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