* Michael Hawthorne at the Tribune…
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration is at odds with the state’s chief lawyer again, this time about the public health investigation of a suburban Chicago sterilization plant connected to the governor.
Urged by fellow Republicans to cooperate with Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Democrat who isn’t running for re-election, the Rauner-led Illinois Environmental Protection Agency instead refused in late August to provide Madigan’s office with key documents about highly toxic ethylene oxide gas emitted in Willowbrook by Sterigenics, a global sterilization company bought in 2011 by a private equity fund co-founded by Rauner. The governor still has a financial interest in Sterigenics, according to a report he filed in May with a state ethics commission.
After Madigan’s office filed another request for Sterigenics records under the Freedom of Information Act, the EPA took more than two weeks to respond, then withheld detailed reports about pollution from Sterigenics during the past two decades, records show.
According to the Tribune, IEPA Director Alec Messina received phone calls yesterday from House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Sen. John Curran, who both represent the area. Messina released the files by the end of the day.
…Adding… Sen. Kwame Raoul…
I’ve met with Willowbrook residents and listened to them express fear for their families. As a cancer survivor myself, I take their concerns personally and find it unconscionable that any public official would ignore a documented carcinogenic threat, especially given the conflict of interest in this case. Bruce Rauner owes local residents answers and an apology.