* Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold at WBEZ…
A former member of Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s cabinet appears to have taken a more aggressive role than previously known in safeguarding the state job of a campaign volunteer tied to the “rape in Champaign” email scandal, newly obtained records show. […]
On Aug. 1, 2012, one day after McClain’s email, Randy Wells, former deputy chief of staff and legislative affairs director for the state Department of Human Services, notified former Quinn aide Gary Hannig and another DHS official about an unspecified “human resource issue with Senator Sullivan.”
Wells said pending action by the agency would result in “an extremely negative reaction” from Sullivan. Ashby, an employee of DHS, was not singled out by name in the Wells email, but it appears to relate directly to Ashby’s disciplinary case, a source familiar with the document told WBEZ.
“Senator Sullivan has already told me he is going to Gary and the Governor about this issue if we take action,” Wells wrote in the document. […]
In a brief, text exchange Friday, Sullivan acknowledged the newly released Wells email likely alluded to Ashby’s disciplinary action but did not confirm he had been prepared to respond with an “extremely negative reaction” if the Quinn administration took action against Ashby.
“It sounds like McClain hyperbole to me,” Sullivan wrote in a text message.
Go read the whole thing.
* I was able to reach Randy Wells by phone. Here’s part of what he told me…
What I’ve read in the email, without seeing it, reflects the standard operating procedure that I always used at DHS. If a member of the General Assembly contacted me and I knew that they were frustrated and getting irritated with a situation, I immediately would shove that up the food chain to the governor’s legislative staff. And the reason being, is because I didn’t want the governor’s office blindsided by a member of the General Assembly saying ‘Hey, I made Randy aware of something and he didn’t bother to tell you about it?’
Seems reasonable. But, Wells said he has no memory of this particular situation with Ashby over seven years ago and doesn’t think he did know back then.
Sullivan seemed to tell WBEZ that perhaps McClain got to Wells and told him Sullivan was really angry. Wells said he “can’t recall who contacted me about it,” adding, “I don’t remember McClain contacting me about this one, but I don’t know.”