Top Democrat Secretly Gave Money To Aide

( According to a state official in a recently unsealed legal document, the office of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker arranged for the state to covertly pay a former campaign assistant who had been fired from her government position for stealing after threatening to use her connections to get out of trouble.

The state attorney general submitted a motion to dismiss the whistleblower’s case, thereby ending any investigation into claims of illegal political influence. However, the now-public claims paint a troubling picture of cronyism and corruption in the Land of Lincoln.

Jenny Thornley served as the Illinois State Police Merit Board’s senior financial officer and director of legislative policy. This anti-patronage organization’s mission is to “eliminate political interference and establish a fair and equal merit process.”

Despite no college degree, she bragged on her resume that she had “been significantly involved” in the following Illinois contests at a “high level”- Cheri Bustos, Tammy Duckworth, Susana Mendoza, JB Pritzker, “and many more.”

Her Facebook images show her mingling with prominent Democrats.

According to court records, Thornley’s manager, Jack Garcia, informed the chairman of the Merit Board in January 2020 that he had discovered Thornley faking his signature to increase her extra pay. According to Emily Fox, who filed the lawsuit and is now the executive director of the Merit Board, Thornley was billed for 32.5 hours of overtime in September 2019 even though camera footage revealed that not only did Thornley not work overtime, but she frequently left during regular business hours.

On January 27, 2020, Thornley texted Garcia’s acquaintance that “Garcia does not know who he is fooling with” and that “the Governor’s office would get involved if Mr. Garcia did not back off.”

According to court records, four days after Garcia reported her alleged theft, Thornley filed a workers’ compensation claim claiming she had experienced bruises and PTSD due to what she claimed was a sexual attack at the hands of Garcia on January 23.

Thornley claimed to work directly for the governor and named the “Governor’s office” as her employer on the claim form.

The next day, Thornley sent an email to the governor’s chief of staff, Anne Caprara; she spoke with Pritzker’s general counsel Ann Spillane over the phone and said that she “looks at the Pritzkers as friends;” and on February 2, she texted the governor’s wife M.K. Pritzker.

According to court documents, on February 3, the Merit Board decided to terminate Thornley’s employment and pursue criminal charges.

A state inquiry found that Thornley communicated with the governor’s office to cover up her misdeeds to protect the governor and his chief of staff from criticism.

Garcia was cleared of any claims that he sexually assaulted Thornley.