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Rutherford accuser amends lawsuit, includes RICO charge, Romney campaign

Thursday, Jun 12, 2014

* Ed Michalowski has refiled his sexual harassment and political intimidation lawsuit against Treasurer Dan Rutherford. The new lawsuit adds the Mitt Romney presidential campaign as a defendant. Sun-Times

The allegations, filed in a first amended complaint in federal court early Thursday, adds racketeering counts and political discrimination charges tied to the Romney campaign and the Rutherford campaign.

“Beginning in early spring 2011, however, Defendant Rutherford coerced and intimidated, implicitly and explicitly, Plaintiff into performing political work on behalf of the Rutherford Campaign,” the complaint alleges. “For example, Defendant Rutherford demanded that Plaintiff coordinate lunches or dinners with individuals whom Plaintiff was acquainted with, and solicit donations for the Rutherford Campaign from each individual.”

With regard to allegations involving the hiring of interns based on political clout, the lawsuit states:

“Defendant Rutherford hired only candidates whose connections would be useful to the Rutherford Campaign, regardless of the strength of their qualifications or whether other non‐politically connected candidates had superior credentials.”

* From the lawsuit

At some point during February or March 2011, Defendant Rutherford informed Plaintiff that he had in fact been hired solely to perform political fundraising on behalf of the Rutherford Campaign.

Michalowski also claims that he was ordered to hire college students to collect petition signatures for the Romney campaign. The petition drive didn’t go well. Rutherford allegedly refused to pay the students and allegedly told Michalowski to pay the kids out of his own pocket or be fired.

As far as I could see, there was nothing in the lawsuit directly implicating the people who ran the national Romney campaign in the lawsuit. Rutherford was the candidate’s state chairman, so that’s the sole connection.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    Explains a lot about the fail that was the Rutherford Crew from Romney to Governor’s race…


  2. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    This latest stuff sounds like utter BS. Either Dan Rutherford is one of the stupidest people elected to statewide office in the last 100 years, and he isn’t, or he didn’t do this stuff.


  3. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    Is the Plaintiff more about the headlines or about seeking justice? His previous suit was tossed by the court for lack of evidence. Why does he think by adding Romey for President, Inc. would bolster his cnances of prevailing? This is getting more strange by the day.


  4. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    “cnances” = chances, by the way (mispelling in previous post.)


  5. - Walker - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    He’s throwing in the kitchen sink. Not sure that helps him.


  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    RICO? Seriously? Why now?

    I think he’s throwing spaghetti against the fridge to see what sticks.


  7. - Living in Machiaville - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    Atty’s worried abour getting paid? Going for deeper pockets from Romney campaign which might look to settle rather than a protracted court fight perhaps.


  8. - Walker - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    Why not jump on the RICO bandwagon? The Feds apply RICO to everything.

    [Except of course when they are the ones conspiring to effect a criminal act.]


  9. - Publius - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    What suit was thrown out?


  10. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Publius–

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/06/04/judge-dismisses-sexual-harassment-suit-filed-by-former-rutherford-aide/


  11. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    I’ve largely been sympathetic to Dan, but his ego had completely run away with him. This is a fellow who had banners and signs put on his car at the Republican National Convention in Tampa ensuring that everyone knew he was Chairman of the Illinois delegation. This was an individual whose lexicon regularly included the phrase, “Do you realize you just said no to the Treasurer?”

    I’ve never believed the sexual harassment aspect with regard to Michalowski, but some of the other stuff like no paying the interns I would entertain. The RICO stuff is a stretch, however.


  12. - x ace - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Para. 50 -57 and 98 -100 make “Romney” allegations but all appear as a result of Rutherford being the Romney Campaign’s State Chairman.
    So guessing that the theory is that Rutherford was Romney’s Agent so Romney is liable for wrongful actions of agent that Romney.
    “Stupidest” or ” he didn’t do this stuff” will be for a Jury to decide. ( if they ever get a pleading to survive the Dismiss Motions )


  13. - A guy... - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    This is beginning to reek of “gilding the lily”. If the first stuff isn’t supportable enough, this might be a summons for more embarrassing (and possibly baseless) dirt. Our plaintiff is being to look more scorned than discriminated against i.e. little things becoming big things. Let’s get this heard and dispense whatever justice necessary. We’re starting to hear “heat of the moment” excerpts from a hot head’s day in the life.


  14. - Chris - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    “Defendant Rutherford hired only candidates [FOR INTERNS] whose connections would be useful to the Rutherford Campaign, regardless of the strength of their qualifications or whether other non‐politically connected candidates had superior credentials.”

    What, precisely, is actionable about this?


  15. - Publius - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Nearly Normal….thanks for the link…can’t believe I missed this, coverage in Springfield must have been a little thin.


  16. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    As a former intern for Rutherford’s office - I can say that my hiring had nothing to do with political relationships or campaign-related matters, considering I didn’t have any politically influential connections or even campaign-related experience at the time. Just a simple cover letter, resume and interview process.


  17. - Conservative Republican - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    ==Is the Plaintiff more about the headlines or about seeking justice? His previous suit was tossed by the court for lack of evidence. Why does he think by adding Romey for President, Inc. would bolster his cnances of prevailing? This is getting more strange by the day. ==

    The foregoing comment by Knome displays utter ignorance about the law. The Plaintiff’s claims were never “dismissed” with finality. He was given a chance to re-plead his claims. He has now done so. Rutherford will have another bite of the apple to see if he can get a conclusive dismissal. That is difficult to do, because a plaintiff does not have to “make his entire case” in his complaint under federal procedure.

    Too many posters on this blog have no idea about how the law works, but blather on anyway. Knome is but one example.


  18. - shore - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    rutherford always seemed too good to be true and off. yep.


  19. - Mr. T. - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 4:14 pm:

    The only thing that is explosive, is the Plaintiff’s imagination.


  20. - Leave a Light on George - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 7:08 pm:

    “This latest stuff sounds like utter BS. Either Dan Rutherford is one of the stupidest people elected to statewide office in the last 100 years, and he isn’t, or he didn’t do this stuff.”

    Lots of people seem to be something they are not.


  21. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 12, 14 @ 11:02 pm:

    http://youtu.be/gdGAdtnjKco


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