Ex-employee accuses Rutherford of sexual harassment, political pressure in lawsuit

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Explosive sexual allegations are among the accusations in a federal lawsuit filed Monday against Illinois State Treasurer and Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford.

DOWNLOAD: Full text of Rutherford harassment suit

Rutherford is accused in the suit by former treasurer’s office employee, Edmund Michalowski, of sexually harassing him and also forcing him to do political campaign work on state time.

Michalowski, 43, accuses Rutherford of repeatedly “hitting on” him and touching him inappropriately from April 2011 through December 2013.

Rutherford’s office has denounced the charges, calling them false.

Last month, prior to the claims being publicly revealed, Rutherford had said the person behind the impending lawsuit had tried to shake him down for $300,000 to keep the allegations quiet.

He’s also accused  GOP gubernatorial rival Bruce Rauner of being behind the attack, something Rauner has called ridiculous.

Rutherford is expected to hold a news conference late Monday afternoon ahead of a Republican gubernatorial candidates debate.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

At a press conference Monday, Rutherford issued a press release and documents that he says contradict the allegations against him.

PRESS RELEASE: Treasurer Rutherford reacts to ex-employee’s lawsuit

DOCUMENT: Michalowski’s travel voucher from 4-2-11

DOCUMENT: Emails about travel on 4-2-11

DOCUMENT: Text messages between Michalowski & Conrad on 7-24-11

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