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ADDED DETAILS - Fallout from Email Investigation: Sullivan Resigns as Illinois Agriculture Secretary

Jan 13, 2020

There is new fallout from the recent discovery of a 2012 email obtained by WBEZ that refers to an unspecified "rape in Champaign."  Illinois Agriculture Secretary John Sullivan has resigned.

Sullivan is a former state senator from Rushville.

Sullivan said after reviewing his email last weekend, he found out that McClain had forwarded the message to him at the time. But Sullivan said he had not read it because he was undergoing cancer treatment out of state.

Sullivan said he takes responsibility for not reporting the email and resigned.

A spokesperson for the governor said Pritzker is “disturbed” that Sullivan was aware of the email in 2012 but did not handle it appropriately.

The email was written by Michael McClain, who is a powerful lobbyist.

McClain asked two aides to then-Governor Pat Quinn for leniency for a state worker because the worker kept his mouth shut about “the rape in Champaign.”

McClain won’t comment on the email and it’s still unclear what he was referring to.