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Watchdogs troubled by Rutherford suit claims

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 2:07 p.m. CST
(Patrick Kunzer)
Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford speaks during a news conference on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Schaumburg, Ill. Rutherford says a former employee's allegations of sexual harassment and political coercion are false. (AP Photo/Daily Herald, Patrick Kunzer)

CHICAGO – A federal lawsuit against Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford details an ex-employee's sexual harassment allegations, but government watchdog groups say the lawsuit's political corruption claims are just as worrisome.

Rutherford is in a four-way Republican gubernatorial primary. He says the allegations are false and politically motivated. He spent Tuesday refuting the claims and questioning the lawsuit's timing.

The allegations include forcing employees to do campaign work on state time, which is prohibited.

Common Cause Illinois officials say the claims raise questions about Rutherford's leadership. An Illinois Campaign for Political Reform spokeswoman says voters are already corruption weary with two previous governors sent to prison.

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