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Sullivan “disappointed” in Pritzker statement because it “makes it look like I did something criminal”

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2020

* Background is here if you need it. Ousted Illinois Agriculture Director John Sullivan spoke up about the past few days. Here’s Capitol News Illinois

Sullivan told The Rushville Times the governor’s office reached out to him Friday and asked if he had received the email. He said that prompted him to search his email account, and that is when he discovered the forwarded email that had originated with McClain.

“I was stunned,” Sullivan said. “I immediately knew the optics and what it looked like.” […]

“I take full responsibility, and I’m not making excuses, but Mike McClain sends lots of emails, most of which I don’t even pay attention to,” Sullivan said. “I know in my mind and my heart that I did not read all of that email. If I had seen an email that talked about a rape in Champaign, I would have turned it over.” […]

“I understand it looks horrible,” Sullivan said. “…I’m stunned and I’m disappointed…I can’t believe someone would put that kind of information in an email. How would you expect that to help someone get a job or get through a disciplinary hearing?”

“I just want people to understand the context we were working in,” Sullivan added. “I understand it looks really bad. I got the email, and I didn’t do anything about it. I understand. However, I am disappointed in the statement the governor put out that makes it look like I did something criminal.”

* Part of the governor’s statement

However, the Governor holds all state employees to the highest ethical standards, and the Governor requested the Director’s resignation because he is disturbed that then-Senator Sullivan became aware of the existence of the July 31, 2012 email contemporaneously, and did not handle it appropriately, including not alerting the inspector general or other authorities.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments »
  1. - Madame Defarge - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 5:15 pm:

    Sullivan is a good guy, he doesn’t deserve this. What if he had discovered that someone had removed toilets to get a tax break? Should he have turned that in???


  2. - Altgelds Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 5:18 pm:

    Billionaires gonna billion


  3. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 5:19 pm:

    He’s “disappointed”. I have absolutely zero sympathy for this man.


  4. - Lake Effect - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 5:28 pm:

    What if he had discovered that the toilet removal was paid for by off shore trust earnings funded by inherited mob lawyer money? Careful Governor, sanctimony only gets you so far.


  5. - Free pass - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 5:30 pm:

    JB has a high standard for everyone but himself. Can you imagine what he would have done to a staffer that committed a $350,000 dollar property tax fraud?


  6. - Roman - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 5:40 pm:

    JB is taking the zero tolerance approach here and that’s the right thing to do politically. But someday, someone in the inner sanctum of the governor’s office is gonna commit a similar, not-so-horrible transgression. They’ll have to lop off his or her head, too. That won’t be so easy.


  7. - Austinman - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 5:56 pm:

    How many of us get emails that we just skip over? Especially if the source is always sending emails. I understand why JB did what he did BUT…. that day may come when its someone important to him


  8. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 6:15 pm:

    I totally get where Sullivan is coming from when it comes to not reading an email. But I don’t think JB’s statement is making him sound like he committed a criminal act. It really makes him sound like an old-timer. Back before the Me Too movement, most people never considered that this would end the career of a politician. I hope that makes everyone consider the possibilities when sending emails or posting on social media, and who they receive emails and tweets or facebook posts from.


  9. - Elliott Ness - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 6:15 pm:

    Someone had to take the sword, Pritzker is NOT going to place the blame at Madigan’s doorstep although he is much closer to this than Sullivan ever was. John Sullivan is a good man and i would believe him before Madigan or Pritzker.


  10. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 6:29 pm:

    I’m glad Sullivan pushed back a little. A look into my own personal deleted, blocked and spam folders shows that a great deal of emails people send to me are not read. The governor’s statement says he knows that Sullivan became aware of the existence of the email contemporaneously and did not handle it properly. Perhaps there is more to the story but I am not sure how the governor knows this for sure.


  11. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 6:35 pm:

    John Sullivan is a class act and a good person. He did the “honorable” thing - its just unfortunate that he was made the example when there are people working in this Administration with far worse indiscretions. The bar is now set.


  12. - Cadillac - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 7:24 pm:

    I have 2,397 unread emails at the moment. JB better give a raise to the ones tasked with taking appropriate actions on all of his emails. Karma.


  13. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 7:35 pm:

    Sullivan will be fine. He got a nice pension boost.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 7:37 pm:

    === He got a nice pension boost.===

    You sure?


  15. - Downstater - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 7:40 pm:

    Just me 2 - why do you think he got a pension boost?


  16. - Billy Sunday - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 8:10 pm:

    I don’t think Sen. Sullivan is thinking about his pension boost but instead more about his character and how he exited. I’m pretty sure he enjoyed being AG chief as well…


  17. - Yesterday’s Chairman - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 8:43 pm:

    John is one of the more decent people I have ever met. He and his wife Joan are straightforward, dependable, people who are very humble about the public’s trust in them.
    I like Pritzker but think he over-reacted here.


  18. - Calling FBI - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 8:52 pm:

    Dear FBI and US Attorney, please restore our confidence in justice. Investigate, indict and prosecute JB for toilet gate.


  19. - Wellness Check - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 9:16 pm:

    For months we heard McSweeney’s allegations that Durkin buried a report. Has anyone heard from McSweeney lately?

    Since Durkin made comments on McClain’s email, did he comment on McSweeney’s allegations? Or could he possibly comment on Santa Paws?


  20. - Elliott Ness - Wednesday, Jan 15, 20 @ 7:12 am:

    Wellness…time to deflect already? This post is NOT about McSweeney, really nothing is


  21. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jan 15, 20 @ 8:20 am:

    =Dear FBI and US Attorney, please restore our confidence in justice. Investigate, indict and prosecute JB for toilet gate.=

    Maybe the FBI should focus on Trumps endless corruption first instead of a local issue.


  22. - Wilma - Wednesday, Jan 15, 20 @ 8:41 am:

    == Mike McClain sends lots of emails, most of which I don’t even pay attention to== You gotta wonder what kind of things he said in all those emails.


  23. - 17% Solution - Thursday, Jan 16, 20 @ 7:54 am:

    “Someone had to take the sword, Pritzker is NOT going to place the blame at Madigan’s doorstep although he is much closer to this than Sullivan ever was.” Closer how? Madigan didn’t get the email.
    I think giving people the benefit of the doubt is a better practice than “zero tolerance.” Sullivan should have been given the benefit of the doubt here. Should it turn out he played a larger role, it will come out, and at that point he could be asked to resign. It’s not like the Feds are going to leave any stone unturned.


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