Illinois ag director resigns over response to rape email

FILE - Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right, announces that applications to grow industrial hemp in Illinois for the first time in 80 years are available on line as Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan looks on during a news conference Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/John O'Connor)
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. J.B. Pritzker's agriculture director has resigned after acknowledging that he received, but did not act on, a lobbyist's email seven years ago which referenced an alleged rape cover-up and illegal hiring practices. 

John Sullivan said in a statement Monday that he did not read the email thoroughly at the time but said, "I accept responsibility for what was truly an unintentional oversight and the subsequent inaction."

The July 2012 email from Michael McClain sought leniency from gubernatorial aides for a "loyal" state employee who "has kept his mouth shut on ... ghost workers, the rape in Champaign and other items."