Former Republican state Rep. Ron Sandack, once a top ally of Gov. Bruce Rauner, resigned from the Illinois Legislature after several people viewed a sexually graphic video featuring the former lawmaker that was temporarily posted to Facebook, Politico is reporting.
Politico, citing anonymous sources, reports that the “encounter” with the woman was recorded and posted to Sandack’s social media accounts with several of his contacts tagged in the video.
Sandack previously has said he was extorted via Facebook and Skype by a woman who lured him “to engage in inappropriate online conversations.”
Once Republicans learned of the video and its surfacing, a top state operative urged Sandack to resign, Politico reports. Sandack issued a statement to Politico denying he was asked to resign but didn’t address questions about the existence of the video or whether it was distributed to others.
Reached Friday morning, a Sandack spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times that Sandack would have no further comment.
Last week, Sandack said he was extorted by a woman who lured him “to engage in inappropriate online conversations.” His admission came after Downers Grove police released new details about the bizarre episode in 34 pages of reports that conclude they can’t seek criminal charges in the case because the apparent perpetrator or perpetrators live in the Philippines.
The police reports — much of them redacted — paint a picture of a middle-aged man sucked into a scheme that began with him communicating with a young woman online and ended with him feeling compelled to send her money and seeing a fake Facebook account set up in his name. The Sun-Times and other news outlets have asked the Illinois attorney general’s office to review whether those redactions are legal under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The attorney general’s office is reviewing those requests.
Whether the fake Facebook account contained potentially embarrassing information is unclear. Large portions of the police documents remain redacted.
Sandack wired money to the Philippines because he felt threatened, according to police, who classified the case as “extortion.”
In his statement last week, Sandack — who became Rauner’s most vocal ally in the Illinois House — said the woman lured him in.
“This past July, I was the target of an international crime ring focusing on high-profile individuals luring them to engage in inappropriate online conversations with the intent of extortion,” Sandack said then. “I took their bait and fell for it hook, line and sinker.
“Poor decisions on my part enabled me to be a victim and, as a responsible citizen, I reported it and have been working with the police.”
Sandack, 52, who as a state lawmaker was very active on social media, abruptly resigned from the Legislature on July 24. He is a former Downers Grove mayor.