Attorney Christine Svenson reponded to State Treasurer Dan Rutherford's accusation today that she attempted to blackmail him. In a statement, Svenson wrote:
Mr. Rutherford's statements directed towards me today were unfortunate. This is not a matter of politics, nor is it about me. To the contrary, this matter is about my client. I am a licensed Illinois attorney who specializes in employment law and who has been retained to represent the legal interests of my client and my client's interests alone.
It is important at the onset that I make clear that I have nothing to do with the Bruce Rauner campaign other than a brief piece of legal work that I did for them last year: the negotiation and review of a single office lease. In fact, it was Mr. Rutherford’s own lawyer who referred me to the Rauner campaign. In checking my records, the work was completed by April 2013 and I have had no communications of any kind with Mr. Rauner or any representative of his campaign since then.
My client came to me a couple of weeks ago with serious and real allegations concerning Mr. Rutherford. My client had initiated a claim with the Inspector General of the Treasurer’s Office before coming to me. After investigating the evidence, we elected to contact Mr. Rutherford’s office directly. Mr. Rutherford’s general counsel and in-house counsel both expressed a strong interest in keeping the matter private, and also expressed an appreciation for our willingness to do so. We were exchanging information and negotiating on a good-faith basis for days until as recently as yesterday. These types of negotiations are, in my experience, common with regard to the Treasurer’s office and have nothing to do with politics or the gubernatorial primary.
This morning, Mr. Rutherford chose to make this matter about politics - probably because the facts are so troubling. I have nothing against Dan Rutherford, and have no horse in the governor’s primary race. We are currently exploring our legal options. I will continue to act in furtherance of my client's interests to protect my client's rights and to avail my client of all appropriate legal remedies for violations of my client's rights.