CHICAGO (AP) - State treasurer Dan Rutherford is addressing harassment allegations against him head on.

The Chenoa Republican brought up the issue himself in the opening moments of a debate in Chicago with his three rivals to be the GOP nominee for governor.

A former employee in Rutherford's office has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Rutherford of sexual harassment and forcing him to do work on campaign time.

Rutherford denied the allegations, saying "nothing like that has ever occurred." But he said he couldn't provide proof until the election is over.

Rutherford initially promised to release the findings of an investigation into the issue but an attorney advised him to stay silent.

Rutherford faces state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard and businessman Bruce Rauner in the March 18 primary.

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