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Attorney's Decision Likely a Fatal Blow to Rutherford's Gubenatorial Campaign

Rutherford's attorney says outside investigation into claims of sexual harassment by Treasurer will not be released.
WTVO/WQRF -- Once considered a frontrunner for the Republican nomination for governor, Treasurer Dan Rutherford now appears to be a longshot.  The trouble started after a lawsuit was filed by a male employee alleging sexual harassment, and is now magnified by a decision Thursday by Rutherford's attorney not to release the results of an independent investigation into the claims.

Attorney Peter Andjelkovich told the Associated Press that the decision not to make the investigation public was "100 percent my doing" as to not interfere with the legal case.

Legal decisions rarely make good politics, however, and by letting his lawyer decide his political fate, Rutherford has likely fatally damaged his campaign.  The inference in not releasing the findings of the investigation that will be made by many voters is that it does confirm some of the allegations made by Ed Michalowski in the civil lawsuit, which makes claims of sexual advances by Rutherford towards him including groping.

Rutherford's own actions immediately following the filing of the lawsuit are also betraying him now.  The Treasurer released text messages and expense reports he said proved Michalowski's claims were false.  To do that then and not release his own investigation now gives the appearance of a man trying to have it both ways.  Release the information that exhonerates him, withhold the information that may not.

Whether that's true or not, it's ripe fodder in a political campaign.  He claims the allegations are false, but Rutherford will now find himself providing 'no comment' answers to questions about his own investigation into them, whether those questions come from the media covering his campaign or his opponents during debates.  That's just a not a workable formula for winning an election.
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