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Rutherford Stands Firm, Won’t Release Harassment Report

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Jay Levine Jay Levine
Jay Levine is the chief correspondent for CBS 2 Chicago. He joined...
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(CBS) – Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford has again refused to release a taxpayer-funded report into allegations of sexual harassment at his office – a report that, it turns out, is missing a key element.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

The treasurer’s office Friday afternoon denied CBS 2’s Freedom of Information request, citing state law that exempts materials prepared in anticipation of criminal, civil or administrative proceedings.

The author of the report admits he submitted his findings the day before Rutherford’s accuser agreed to answer questions and made no attempt to follow up.

Earlier this week, Rutherford claimed he didn’t know that or anything else about the investigation results.

Whatever it says, it does not include the allegations of Ed Michalowski, a former top Rutherford aide whose lawsuit charges Rutherford with sexual harassment.

Rutherford turned to Ron Braver & Associates for what he called an independent probe. It was begun Feb. 3 and completed Feb. 12, costing taxpayers $18,122.50.

“I tried to talk with Michalowski,” Braver told Levine by phone. “But if his attorney said, ‘I can’t let him do that,’ what am I supposed to do?”

Yet just 24 hours after Braver submitted his report, Michalowski’s attorney Christine Svenson emailed and asked: “Are you still interested in talking with my client?

Rather than speaking to Michalowski and amending the report, the firm said it was too late. That left Rutherford promising, then refusing, to release a report that is at best incomplete.

As it stands, Rutherford is not only being attacked for not releasing a report taxpayers paid for, but one that could remove at least some of the suspicion dogging his gubernatorial hopes.

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