Gov Pritzker Removes John Sullivan as Agriculture Director

Then Agriculture Director, John Sullivan, in an interview with the Illinois Channel in the spring of 2019.

We will note that most of the information we have on John Sullivan’s removal comes from Rich Miller at The Capitol Fax.

As Miller reports it, Sullivan – a former Democratic state senator from the Quincy area, was asked by the Governor over the weekend to resign his post, in the wake of an email that then lobbyist Mike McClain sent out approximately eight years ago, that mentioned “Ghost employees” and alluded to a rape.

Sullivan, one of the most liked senators in the State Capitol, and well respected, had discovered in his emails, that McClain HAD sent a copy of the inflammatory email to John Sullivan when he was still a member of the state senate. Sullivan, after finding he did have the email, told the governor’s staff people about it.

According to both John Sullivan and the Governor, that Sullivan had not acted to report to the Inspector General, the information that McClain had included in the email, was a breach Governor Pritzker felt required his removing Sullivan from the Pritzker administration.

There are not charges against Sullivan of wrong doing, but as Sullivan mentions on the Capitol Fax blog, he thinks he only read a part of the McClain email, and that’s how he missed the parts, that should have resulted in contacting the Inspector General to report wrong-doing.

The McClain email concerned efforts to have a Forrest Ashby keep his job, and in his arguments to that effort, Mike McClain — a closer friend of Speaker Madigan — was listing the times Ashby had “kept his mouth shut” and was a loyal individual that could be counted on.

That Governor Pritzker acted quickly to remove John Sullivan from the Department of Agriculture, is evidence the governor is hyper-sensitive to keeping any hint of scandal away from him and his administration, as the FBI continues an investigation that’s lead to indictments, wiretapping of conversations and resignations by lawmakers and the CEO of ComEd.