A potentially politically damaging civil case against Illinois Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Tammy Duckworth was settled Friday, according to The Chicago Tribune. The settlement was worth $26,000, the paper reported.
Duckworth’s opponent, Republican Sen. Mark S. Kirk, had made the lawsuit a central part of his re-election campaign, alleging that it exposed the congresswoman’s corruption and incompetence while she served as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.
The civil case stemmed from a 2006 incident in which the plaintiff accused Duckworth of workplace retaliation.
The trial had been set for Aug. 15 , little more than two months before Election Day, a fact the Kirk campaign had delighted in telling reporters. Recently, the campaign even sent a postcard to reporters in Washington asking them to “save the date” because “Tammy Duckworth is going to trial.”
In a statement, the Kirk campaign argued that the presence of a settlement was an admission of guilt from the lawmaker.
“We now know that there are 26,000 reasons why Tammy Duckworth was guilty,” said Kevin Artl, Kirk’s campaign manager. “The simple truth is that if Tammy Duckworth was innocent, she would not have settled this case.”
A Duckworth spokesman told the Tribune that the settlement was “appropriate for what was always a frivolous workplace case.”