UPDATE: Rutherford Denies Accusations of Sexual Harassment

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SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford says a former employee's allegations of sexual harassment and political coercion are false.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate called a Monday news conference to refute claims outlined in a federal lawsuit filed the same day. Rutherford says state documents back him up.

He says no one in the treasurer's office has been forced to do campaign work on state time.

Rutherford says the treasurer's office had not previously been informed of allegations of harassment and there were no witnesses to the claims.

Rutherford questions the timing of the allegations, which come weeks before the March 18 primary election.

Rutherford says the allegations also are politically motivated. He believes that one of his GOP opponents, businessman Bruce Rauner, is behind the former employee's allegations. Rauner denies wrongdoing.

CHICAGO (AP) -- A former employee in Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and that the Republican gubernatorial candidate made him do political work on state time.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Chicago's federal court on behalf of Ed Michalowski. He was a lawyer and director in Rutherford's office.

The complaint alleges Rutherford made inappropriate sexual advances toward Michalowski, among other things.

Rutherford has said there's "absolutely no truth" to the former employee's claims.

Rutherford held a news conference last month and publicized that an employee had "allegations of misconduct" against him. He then denied wrongdoing. He says an outside investigation that will clear his name.

Rutherford has accused a Republican gubernatorial rival of being behind the accusations in an attempt to undermine his campaign.

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