Details contained in a lawsuit brought against Gov. Bruce Rauner by a former business associate have called into further question the governor’s insistence that he no longer plays a role in his business investments.
Appearing before the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board Monday, Rauner was asked to address an account from former associate Harreld “Kip” Kirkpatrick III describing how the two discussed the business investment on which Kirkpatrick’s case centers.
“No private business was conducted on public property,” Rauner told the Tribune during a mini-debate with his rival in the March Republican primary, state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton. “That issue is a contract dispute, contract dispute. It’s not an investment decision. A contract dispute that stemmed from before I was governor.”
Pressed on whether he spoke with Kirkpatrick at all about that dispute, the governor doubled down: “I was not doing private business on state property,” he said.
* The governor was asked again by KWQC TV…
Gov. Rauner: Yeah, so that’s just, that’s just false, I did not do that, um, did not have any business meetings on public property, I wouldn’t do that. And there’s, a lot of people have raised that question, it’s just, there’s no there there, there’s no, no business meetings on public property.
Reporter: But the public schedule said it was a former private business partner, correct?
Gov. Rauner: Um, yeah. Uh-huh. We weren’t discussing any, anything about old business.
Reporter: He says otherwise, correct?
Gov. Rauner: [Laughs] He said a lot of things that were not true.
Reporter: So this isn’t true?
Gov. Rauner: Yep. That’s right. It’s not true.
“Bruce Rauner has a problem being honest with the Illinois public,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner was caught meeting with a business associate on state property despite promising a blind trust from his business interests. Now that he’s failed the public, Rauner’s trying to lie his way out of the scandal. Rauner needs to fess up and be honest with voters for a change.”
Anybody can sue anybody for anything and say whatever they want in the process. So, maybe they didn’t talk about a private business deal at the mansion. It’s one person’s word against another’s at the moment.