A communications staffer ousted by Gov. Bruce Rauner is accusing the governor’s office of stonewalling on requests for public information, including emails to and from first lady Diana Rauner regarding an abortion bill the governor angered conservatives by signing.
Diana Rickert — a former staffer of the conservative Illinois Policy Institute — filed the lawsuit on Jan. 5 in Cook County Circuit Court. […]
Rickert claims she filed a series of Freedom of Information Act requests to the governor’s office in September and October 2017, including requests for emails sent to former chief of staff Kristina Rasmussen from state employees in the Department of Innovation and Technology, and others sent to Rasmussen “regarding internet browsing history for state employees.” […]
Rickert also asked for emails to and from Diana Rauner from June 1, 2017 that include the following terms: “abortion, HB40, reproductive rights, Personal PAC, Planned Parenthood, Terry Cosgrove.” The request included a personal email address, a state email address and one from her role with the Ounce of Prevention
Additionally, Rickert asked for emails to and from Rauner’s policy chief Michael Lucci since Aug. 25 that also included the same abortion-related search items.
Read the suit by clicking here.
Some of her requests are pretty specific, like all e-mails sent to Kristina Rasmussen on Sept. 20, 21 and 22 last year. She apparently knows what she’s looking for.
Rickert now works at the Liberty Justice Center and is being represented by attorneys from the organization, which is affiliated with the Illinois Policy Institute.
Jacob Huebert, the center’s director of litigation, said the lawsuit is part of the group’s “mission to protect citizens’ rights” and is aimed at requiring Rauner’s office to “comply with the law.”
A Rauner spokeswoman said the suit is “under review.”
Rickert also is seeking emails from former chief of staff Kristina Rasmussen to the state’s information technology agency as well as information about the web browsing history of state employees. The two previously worked together at the institute.
* Pritzker campaign…
“A former member of the ‘Best Team in America’ is now suing Bruce Rauner for trying hide information from the public,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “This transparency averse governor can’t even figure out how to lead his own staff, let alone our state.”