Gov. Bruce Rauner says there's no validity to allegations he crossed a line in keeping his public life and financial dealings separate.
"Let's be clear, my assets are independently managed. I have no role in day-to day investment management of those," Rauner, a Winnetka venture capitalist, told the Daily Herald editorial board Monday.
The issue involves a lawsuit by Harreld "Kip" Kirkpatrick, a one-time state treasurer candidate and Rauner's investment partner in a Michigan-based mortgage loan company.
The investment later led to a $67.5 million settlement by the mortgage company and a $15 million return for Rauner but a financial loss for Kirkpatrick, the lawsuit filed in 2017 claims.
The lawsuit also indicates Rauner met Kirkpatrick o n May 11, 2015, on the back porch of the governor's mansion in Springfield to discuss the settlement and later at the Chicago Club on Sept. 15, 2015.
As newly elected governor, Rauner vowed to put his investments in a blind trust. Those actions would prevent conflicts of interest and meant the governor and his wife had "given away decision-making and responsibilities related to their assets and investments" to an investment adviser with power of attorney, a spokesman said in a Jan. 9, 2015, news release, shortly after Rauner was sworn in.
"There's no there there," Rauner said Monday of allegations by Democrats that he was conducting business deals at the Executive Mansion.
"This dispute is a contract dispute that stems from before I was governor. It's in arbitration and it'll get handled. It has nothing to do with investment decisions."
The lawsuit states that Kirkpatrick updated Rauner in the May meeting in Springfield about "his expectations regarding the return to Kirkpatrick Capital from a settlement and the allocation of the settlement." Rauner had made an earlier investment of $5 million in Kirkpatrick's company, Kirkpatrick Capital.
The governor's press office said in early 2015 that Roundtable Investment Partners was given power of attorney to take control of every investment of the Rauners. Procedures were established to direct all communications about investments to Roundtable.