Pritzker AG chief resigns over “rape email” scandal

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A top cabinet official in Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration tendered his resignation this weekend in connection with apparent fallout from last week’s report about a former lobbyist’s email that defended a state worker facing disciplinary accusations for having stayed silent about “the rape in Champaign.”

Governor J.B. Pritzker sought and accepted Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan’s resignation this weekend.

Director Sullivan had a long and productive public service career as a State Senator, and the Governor is grateful for his willingness to serve in the administration. Director Sullivan put together an outstanding team at the Department of Agriculture, and as a result, the Department’s work thrived.

However, according to a statement from the Pritzker’s office, the Governor holds all state employees to the highest ethical standards.

Pritzker requested the Director’s resignation because he is disturbed that then-Senator Sullivan became aware of the existence of the July 31, 2012 email contemporaneously, and did not handle it appropriately, including not alerting the inspector general or other authorities.

The press statement says the Governor’s general counsel has shared all of the information she learned from Director Sullivan with the Office of the Executive Inspector General and offered to share this information with all law enforcement agencies looking into this situation.