He’s known for his political brinksmanship, but House Speaker Mike Madigan said Wednesday he has no idea why Republican state Rep. Ronald L. Sandack — a top ally of Madigan’s nemesis, Gov. Bruce Rauner — abruptly resigned over the weekend.
Asked Wednesday morning at a Democratic National Convention breakfast whether Democrats had any role in the cyber attacks that Sandack had cited in resigning, the Southwest Side Democrat replied, “No, no. I don’t know anything about what happened to Sandack. I’ll let Sandack speak to what his problem is. I don’t know anything about it.”
Sandack had been facing a challenge from Democrat Greg Hose in the November election — a race that might now be more winnable for Democrats with the much better-known Sandack off the ballot.
“Again, I’d leave it up to Sandack to explain his problems. I have my own problems I can talk about,” Madigan said.
Sandack issued a statement to the Capitol Fax political blog on Sunday saying that “cyber security issues” forced him to re-evaluate his “continued public service” and that he was resigning immediately.
He reported those issues to police in his hometown of Downers Grove earlier this month, records show. But the three-page police report released Tuesday afternoon by the department offers no details about what might have happened to Sandack, as virtually the entire narrative is blacked out.
Disclosing the information “would obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation,” the police said in their response to a Chicago Sun-Times Freedom of Information Act request, also noting that supplemental case reports “have not been completed as of the date of this response.”
Sandack, 52, a former Downers Grove mayor, met with an officer on July 14, 2016, a Tuesday evening, “in reference to a walk-in report of an Internet scam.” The narrative in the police report notes that the incident began on July 7, but the rest of that page and the next are almost completely redacted.
After declining to comment about Sandack on Monday, Rauner said Tuesday that he had no advance warning that Sandack had planned to resign.
The governor’s statement only raised more intrigue about Sandack’s decision, as Sandack was one of Rauner’s most vocal advocates in the Legislature.
“I really can’t comment much on Mr. Sandack’s situation,” Rauner told reporters after an event in downstate Auburn. “I heard about it yesterday morning, the same time I think most of you did. I’m not sure what all is going on there.”
Sandack told the Chicago Tribune on Monday that he resigned after several fake social media accounts were set up in his name in recent weeks. Those accounts — as well as his own Facebook and Twitter accounts — appear to have since been taken down.
Sandack also cited robocalls to people in his district alleging that he had accosted a Democratic staff lawyer on the House floor — something Sandack had angrily denied.
“Politics has gotten too ugly,” Sandack told the Tribune. “I don’t need it, and my family doesn’t deserve it.”
Sandack, who had been in the General Assembly since November 2010, did not respond to telephone and email messages from the Sun-Times on Tuesday.