(The Center Square) – There could be a criminal case filed in the alleged workers’ compensation fraud case fraught with political implications that allegedly includes Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office and tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
A spokesperson for Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul told The Center Square late Wednesday evening in an email that allegations of workers comp fraud against Jenny Thornley were sent to the appellate prosecutor’s office, the same entity handling a separate criminal case filed late last year in Sangamon County alleging overtime fraud.
“The Attorney General’s office moved the [overtime] case forward by referring allegations of theft and forgery to the State Appellate Prosecutor’s office, and criminal charges are pending against Ms. Thornley as a result,” Raoul press secretary Annie Thompson said. “Just as we referred the theft and forgery allegations, we have referred allegations that Ms. Thornley committed workers compensation fraud to the appellate prosecutor’s office. Our understanding is the matter is under review by that office.”
Messages to the Appellate Prosecutor’s Office were not returned.
Following investigations over overtime fraud, Thornley was fired from the Illinois State Police Merit Board and filed for workers compensation based on the unfounded sexual assault allegations. Thornley put Gov. J.B. Pritzker down as her supervisor when she actually worked for the Illinois State Police Merit Board. Documents also say she sent First Lady M.K. Pritzker a text about the issue.
The Chicago Tribune reported in December that Thornley was paid more than $71,000 in work comp and disability benefits. Separate investigations into the wide ranging case have already cost taxpayers more than $500,000.
Republican Attorney General candidate Tom DeVore is critical of Raoul not prosecuting the case.
“Because if the attorney general does their job and prosecutes this claim against Jenny Thornley at a minimum, it’s going to open up Pandora’s Box of the governor’s office at the highest levels participating in this,” DeVore told The Center Square.
DeVore said if Pritzker’s office assisted in the alleged fraud, they should be held accountable.
“To intentionally assist, abet, solicit or conspire with any person, company or other entity to commit this type of fraud, that is in and of itself a crime under the workers comp act,” DeVore said.
Thornley is back in a Springfield courtroom in October with the overtime fraud case continuing.