SPRINGFIELD - Lawyers for Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford filed a motion Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by ex-employee Ed Michalowski who alleged sexual harassment and forced political work on state time.
Michalowski, who worked in the Treasurer's office for three years, left in January and filed the lawsuit, just weeks before Rutherford finished last in a four-way GOP primary. Rutherford blamed GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner for the incident.
According to the The Republic, the motion to dismiss says Michalowski's free speech rights were not violated because he doesn't allege he complained about the work, only that he was criticized for not doing it well. It also contends that Michalowski has not shown that Rutherford had a reason to discriminate against him because of his gender, that he was treated differently than other employees, or any pattern of discrimination in the one-term treasurer's office.
In addition, the motion says Michalowski was not subject to a hostile work environment because if the alleged harassment occurred, the incidents were fairly isolated and not sufficient to support the claim. It also claims Rutherford should be covered by limited immunity afforded government officials when "the unlawfulness of an official's conduct is not clearly established."