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Pritzker, Rep. Brady address Sullivan resignation and McClain email

SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - It has been a week since a controversial email from former Quincy lobbyist Mike McClain became public.

The state's agriculture director has resigned and Gov. JB Pritzker is calling the email alleging a rape cover-up and ghost payrolling similar to something you would see in a crime syndicate.

Pritzker says every person in Springfield has to "take a good hard look at themselves and ask what their role has been in this culture of corruption" in Springfield.

The Governor was speaking to reporters in Chicago while WGEM News talked with Rep. Dan Brady (R-IL) 105th District.

The Assistant House Republican Leader has been in office since 2001 and knows former Senator and Agriculture Director John Sullivan well.

Brady says bad things happen to good people and "situations can occur that are out of your control."

Brady feels Sullivan did the right thing by resigning from his role with the DOA.

Rep. Dan Brady addresses John Sullivan's resignation from the Illinois Department of Agriculture and emails from former Quincy lobbyist Mike McClain.

He says mistakes happen, but someone has to look into what people knew about the contents of the email and when they knew about it.

"What authority and what investigative body or tool are we going to use?," asked Brady. "What's the right tool and investigative authority to look into these things to make sure we have a full report that concludes what truly did happen?"

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin asked Speaker Mike Madigan to convene a hearing to investigate the emails, but Madigan said the General Assembly shouldn't interfere in this investigation.

"That's where the people get extremely concerned. That's not bipartisan support. We should be working together on an extremely, very serious situation of what seems to be mushrooming as time goes on here," Brady said.

Addressing the "crime syndicate"

In Chicago, Gov. Pritzker said "there's a gathering storm in Springfield for people who are headed in the wrong direction." When asked about Madigan's ties to the email, Pritzker said, "whether you're a leader or a member, you need to ask yourself which direction you're taking things."

"This McClain email is emblematic of a culture that has been poisonous in Springfield for far too long," Pritzker said. Those who protect the culture, those who tolerate it, those who promote it...well they'll have to answer for their role in it."

Pritzker went on to say ghost payrolling and rape are crimes, and covering them up, or using it for political leverage is "disgusting."

The governor says he expects any lobbyist or anyone in state government with information to step forward.

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Mike Miletich

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