Statehouse
1:53 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Lawsuit: Rutherford 'Coerced And Intimidated' Employee Into Political Work

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford speaks with reporters in this file photo from August 2013.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

A former state employee on Thursday filed more allegations of political and sexual harassment against Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford. He's also expanding the list of defendants to include Mitt Romney's presidential campaign organization.

Edmund Michalowski quit the treasurer's office and sued Rutherford shortly before this year's Republican primary, driving his boss to last place in the race for governor.

His initial lawsuit was dismissed last week, but he was allowed to file another version.

In the latest complaint, Michalowski alleges he was told the treasurer's office would help Rutherford run a successful campaign for governor.

Michalowski also says he was forced to do work for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign; Rutherford was Romney's Illinois chairman.

Then there are the allegations of sexual harassment, including fondling and a shoulder rub. The lawsuit alleges Michalowski heard Rutherford tell another subordinate: "I can see your chest through that shirt and t-shirt. Shake it baby, shake it."

The treasurer's office declined to comment on the latest court filings.

Rutherford has said Michalowski's previous allegations were "absolutely false."