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Rutherford's reasoning on withholding report doesn't hold water

Dan Rutherford

Dan Rutherford

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Updated: February 14, 2014 3:58PM



Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s reason for not releasing a taxpayer-funded report looking into sexual harassment allegations just doesn’t track.
“There is a federal lawsuit that has been filed — under federal rules, we are not supposed to be talking to the whole world about the case — we are supposed to be talking about it in the courtroom,” Rutherford attorney Peter Andjelkovich told me last night.
I told him I’ve covered federal court for more than eight years — and watched litigants routinely hold press conferences on their cases.
“Then you’re familiar with federal rules?” he asked, following up that federal judges may slap a gag order on parties in a case for talking.
You mean like Rod Blagojevich? He talked and talked for years before his trial.

We aren’t even that far along in the Rutherford case yet.
When there is a protective order in place, then yes, you cannot release information covered by that order.
There is no such order in place — as of yet — in the case that was filed on Monday.
Regardless, legal experts say there are ethical restrictions that typically fall on attorneys not to make remarks that would affect the outcome of a case.
There are no such restrictions on defendants, says federal defense lawyer and former prosecutor Larry Beaumont.
Besides, the taxpayer funded report will likely be viewed as hearsay — not evidence.



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