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A New Low: Rauner Admin Suggested Blaming Legionnaires’ Outbreak on Combat Veteran Sen. Duckworth

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Last night, WBEZ reported Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration suggested blaming someone else for a deadly Legionnaires’ outbreak at the state-run Quincy Veterans’ Home. Three years of outbreaks would eventually kill 13 people. WBEZ published an email from Rauner’s former legislative liaison Darlene Senger suggesting the administration blame U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, even though Duckworth last served in state government 8 years ago.
“We can maybe tie this back to Duckworth,” Senger wrote in a December 2017 email, which the Rauner administration finally produced after a 4-month fight over open records.
Senger’s email is the latest evidence of the Rauner administration’s effort to pass the buck on Quincy instead of addressing the crisis that killed 13 veterans. Just a few weeks ago, Rauner’s administration released a 35-page memo that, in part, tried blaming previous administrations for the deadly outbreak. Rauner’s team was also caught trying to shape press coverage while residents were dying, attacking journalists’ integrity, accusing home workers of lying, and stonewalling legislative inquiries.
“Bruce Rauner has reached a new low in his desperate attempt to deflect blame – now his administration is falsely attacking a combat veteran for their own mismanagement,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner needs to show leadership and take responsibility for his administration’s failures at Quincy.”