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Pritzker Campaign Seeks Sanctions Against Plaintiffs In Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Doris Turner, J.B. Pritzker, and Juliana Stratton
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
Then-Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker meets with supporters in downtown Springfield shortly after his election victory in this file photo from 2018.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s campaign operation is striking back against a group of former workers who’re suing for racial discrimination.

Lawyers for Pritzker’s campaign say eight of the 12 defendants have blown deadlines, provided incomplete answers to questions, and ignored obligations to sit for depositions.

Because of that, they’re asking a federal judge to dismiss those plaintiffs from the case.

The black and Latina campaign workers sued last year shortly before the election, saying they were “herded into race-specific positions,” “micromanaged,” and denied opportunities for advancement. At the time, Pritzker denied wrongdoing.

A federal judge ordered more briefing on the issue, extended the deadline for the plaintiffs to comply, and set a hearing for early February.

For this story, both the Pritzker campaign and plaintiffs' lawyer Jeanette Samuels declined to comment.

The case is Little v. JB Pritzker for Governor, No. 1:18-cv-06954 (N.D. IL).

A radio version of this story was first broadcast Nov. 27, 2019.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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