CHICAGO (AP) -- Four members of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's communications team have resigned weeks after being hired in the wake of the Republican's conflicting response to a political cartoon that critics call racist.
Rauner issued a statement Thursday saying Diana Rickert, Laurel Patrick, Meghan Keenan and Brittany Carl submitted resignations.
They were hired last month in a staff shakeup that included several employees from the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think tank.
Last week the Chicago-based organization circulated a cartoon of a black Chicago schoolchild panhandling for money from a white businessman in a suit. The image and Rauner's response prompted wide bipartisan opposition.
Rauner's communications staff initially issued a statement saying the governor wouldn't comment further "as a white male." Rauner later backtracked saying that statement didn't accurately reflect his views.