Preckwinkle now says she heard 'rumor' about former top aide months earlier

Updated 11/8/2018 11:55 PM
  • Toni Preckwinkle

    Toni Preckwinkle

Kicking off her run for Chicago mayor on Sept. 20, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle fielded troubling questions about the forced resignation of her chief of staff for "inappropriate and disrespectful behavior," crediting herself with taking action within days. The Hyde Park Democrat twice insisted she had no prior knowledge of any harassment or sexual abuse issues involving top aide John Keller before mid-September.

But on Thursday, Preckwinkle was sharing a different version of events, saying she had heard of "an unsubstantiated rumor" against Keller six months earlier. Preckwinkle declined to answer the Chicago Sun-Times' questions about the discrepancy, first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

She instead released a brief statement saying: "In March, I received an unsubstantiated rumor. No victim came forward, and there was nothing I could act on. In September, I received an allegation that was corroborated, and I acted immediately."

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