The Chicago Sun-Times reports Rutherford's office kept a list of applicants and the name of the person who referred them.
Among those who referred interns were powerful Democrat House Speaker Mike Madigan, Democrat U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, and Democrat Ald. Walter Burnett (27th). Rutherford himself recommended a 16-year-old member of the wealthy Pritzker family, who was hired one year after a relative donated $50,000 to Rutherford's campaign fund.
Rutherford's office says clout played no role in who got internships. The office had 58 interns in 2013.
State Sen. Mike Frerichs, a Democrat running to succeed Rutherford, didn't hold back criticizing Rutherford or his Republican opponent Tom Cross:
"This piece in the Chicago Sun-Times outlining an elaborate clout-ridden intern program is exactly why I'm running for Treasurer, and why we need a complete audit of the office on Day 1 if I'm elected this fall. It illustrates the clear difference for voters in the race," says Frerichs. "I think it's time we have a Treasurer who knows the office, wants to be Treasurer and will end the political games from the outset. Our elected officials in Springfield need to work for the middle class, not for each other for political benefit."