SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Former Gov. Pat Quinn and Gov. JB Pritzker are among the state lawmakers calling for an investigation after WBEZ reported an email from a former lobbyist hinted at a rape cover-up.
The email was reportedly sent to aides to then-Gov. Quinn. Details about that rape case and apparent cover-up are unknown.
However, many are demanding answers, including the governor who talked about the scandal after his fireside chat Thursday morning Kennedy King College.
Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton were there to discuss their justice, equity and opportunity initiative. They stressed their work on criminal justice reforms since taking office nearly a year ago.
But it is a stunning email from a previous administration also getting attention Thursday.
WBEZ recently obtained the 2012 email, which was sent by former lobbyist Michael McClain, a longtime friend of House Speaker Mike Madigan.
In it, McClain urges top aides to not to fire a particular worker because of his loyalty. McClain mentions that the worker “kept his mouth shut” about “ghost” workers, a rape in Champaign and other items.
Pritzker called the email disturbing and horrific.
Like many in Springfield, he wants an investigation so he’s referred the matter to the inspector general.
Quinn has said he had no knowledge of the matters mentioned in the email, but has called for an investigation. He said he was unaware of the email until he was told about it by reporters.”
”I think it must be fully investigated by law enforcement and justice must be done and the truth must come out. That’s what I believe,” he said.
He is urging anyone with relevant information to come forward.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin is also demanding more information and investigation of possible crimes.
Some lawmakers want hearings so they can hear from those linked to the email.
Meantime, speaker Madigan said he had no knowledge of the incident covered in the WBEZ story. He called the allegations extremely serious and troubling.
McClain is already the focus of a federal investigation. Agents had raided his downstate home back in May.