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Gov. Pritzker's Lawyers Trying To Shield Him From Deposition In Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Doris Turner, J.B. Pritzker, and Juliana Stratton
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
Before taking office, Gov. J.B. Pritzker thanked campaign supporters in Springfield in this file photo from December 2018. His personal attorneys are trying to keep Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, right, from sitting for depositions in a lawsuit.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s personal lawyers are seeking to keep him from having to sit for a deposition in a racial discrimination lawsuit against his campaign.

The lawsuit accuses Pritzker's campaign organization of sidelining minority workers.

Pritzker has denied wrongdoing, and in a court filing, says he delegated day-to-day campaign operations to staff.

Indeed, the governor was dismissed from the case months ago, and his lawyers say defendants just want to question Pritzker in order to “pull him back into litigation.”

The lawyers are also trying to keep Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton from sitting for a deposition, although she is still a defendant.

On the other side, plaintiffs’ attorney Shay Allen emailed this about Pritzker and Stratton: "Only their titles separate them from any other person named in a lawsuit.” He goes on to say those titles should not exclude them from the judicial process.

“If there is truly nothing to hide, the governor and [lieutenant] governor should sit willingly and answer questions — to get to the truth of the matter,” Allen wrote.

A spokesman for the Pritzker campaign declined to comment for this story.

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

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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