Pleadings have been recently unsealed in a whistle-blower case which reveals Attorney General Kwame Raoul, whose campaign is and was financed by Governor Pritzker, is trying to sweep under the rug a seeming conspiracy to defraud the state in excess of $70,000 in workers compensation benefits. High level staff within the Pritzker administration were involved. The question now begged is exactly how much Pritzker himself knew of this scheme. The documents suggest he knew exactly what was going on with his friend and former campaign staffer.
Here’s the backstory: A former Pritzker campaign aide (Jenny Thornley) was on the verge of being fired and prosecuted for stealing tens of thousands of dollars in an overtime fraud scheme. She was a nine-year employee of the Illinois State Police (ISP) Merit Board. Thornley threatened her boss to back off as he didn’t know who he was messing with and if he didn’t she would get the Governor involved. Her threat did not work and the investigation into her fraud continued. Thornley made good on her threat and reached out JB and MK Pritzker on their personal phone over Super Bowl weekend 2020 to seek their help, and she concocted a fake sexual assault claim as her cover. Documents show Thornley even threatened the Governor’s staff that she didn’t want to see JB or MK Pritzker on the front page of newspapers. One can only wonder what she might know that would result in JB and MK Pritzker being on the front page of the newspapers? Whatever it might be seemingly worked in Thornley’s favor.
Working hand in glove with Pritzker’s high-level staff, Thornley was allowed to file a false work comp claim alleging sexual assault, wherein she stated she worked for the Office of Governor, and JB Pritzker himself and General Counsel Ann Spillane, were her supervisors. Thornley event went as far as to list JB’s personal contact information on the claim. This application for benefits resulted in all the paperwork regarding the false claim being sent to Pritzker’s office instead of her actual employer, being the ISP merit board. The records reflect that Pritzker’s General Counsel Ann Spillane personally oversaw and handled this work comp claim for Thornley.
An independent investigation of the alleged fraud and assault, which investigation was ordered by the Pritzker administration, concluded that Thornley was not assaulted and that she in fact stole from the state. The investigator concluded the alleged assault was a diversion as Thornley began to learn her fraud was being uncovered. After the report was issued, Thornley was fired for cause for stealing taxpayer funds. But then, AFTER she was fired, Pritzker’s staff took over, overriding the standard procedures of the work comp system to reward Thornley with workers comp benefits for over a year that ultimately totaled more than $70,000. They made sure the paperwork on the claim came to Pritzker’s office, not her actual employer, to hide what they were up to. They made sure the insurance claim adjuster was ordered not to talk to anyone other than who the Pritzker administration had approved. Her real employer, being the ISP merit board, tried to intervene and object to the work comp claim, but Pritzker’s general counsel barred them from participating.
After being fired from the ISP merit board, the Pritzker administration ensured Thornley received these benefits which she continued to receive until such time as she was eventually indicted for numerous felony offenses in Sangamon County. She was indicted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 and her last work comp payment was received on Friday, September 24, 2021. What were these benefits a reward for? Hush money? One can only wonder why the payments were immediately discontinued after the filing of the criminal charges. The criminal charges and the work comp claim are separate legal matters and the only connection is a political one. Too much media exposure of the issues now for Pritzker to keep providing fraudulent work comp benefits to an indicted thief? I digress.
The new director of the Illinois State Police Merit Board even filed a whistle blower complaint early in 2021 against the alleged thief and fraudster, pointing out the connivance of Pritzker’s administration acting in concert with Thornley’s work comp scheme. The whistle blower statute provides for a secret process in which the Attorney General is tasked with following up on the claim on behalf of the people.
Is anyone surprised that instead of pursuing a conspiracy to defraud the state that goes to the highest levels of Pritzker’s Administration, and maybe even the Governor himself, Kwame Raoul took a pass and moved to have the complaint dismissed by saying he was exercising his discretion not to proceed. I personally reviewed the pleadings and other materials: this is a legitimately plead case of fraud and raises a conspiracy within the Pritzker administration. Even a member of the Illinois Department of Insurance fraud unit advised an employee of the ISP merit board that this case appeared to them to be a clear case of work comp fraud. That is not a hard conclusion to draw when the application for benefits named the Governor’s Office as the employer notwithstanding Thornley never worked for the Governor’s Office. No amount of obfuscation by Pritzker can ever get around that fact. Even as to the allegations of sexual assault being the basis of the work comp claim, a $500K independent investigation had by then deemed that allegation false. A watchdog for the people would be all over this, but Kwame Raoul, being Pritzker’s lap dog, says “move along! Nothing to see here!”
No one should be surprised by this, but everyone should be angry. This is the result of one-party rule that’s bought and paid for by the billionaire bully, JB Pritzker. Everyone in our government looks out for Pritzker and his cronies, but no one looks out for the people. This type of corruption is exactly what’s wrong with this state.
Your choice in November could not be more clear. If you want a Pritzker quisling, Kwame is your man. If you want an AG that works for you, and will take on anyone who would dare do the people harm, then I am your man.
Candidate for Illinois Attorney General