AP Photo

AP Photo

The campaign for Illinois governor took a jarring turn Monday when a former state employee accused a Republican candidate, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, of sexually harassing him and regularly forcing him to do political work on state time — allegations Rutherford denied as “absolutely, totally political.”

Ed Michalowski, a former lawyer and director in Rutherford’s office, filed a federal lawsuit alleging Rutherford started making unwanted sexual advances toward him in April 2011, shortly after Michalowski began working in the office. He said the harassment continued for more than two years.

The lawsuit also claims Rutherford asked Michalowski to set up meetings with potential donors for campaign contributions and organize parades and petition drives while on government time.

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