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Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Journalist Quits Job at Chicago Paper, Says Politician Influenced the Company

Illinois Gov. Candidate Bruce Rauner

(Photo : Reuters)

An Illinois veteran journalist at the Chicago Sun-Times resigned and accused the newspaper of being influenced by a Chicago politician Wednesday after they allegedly removed him from the coverage of the gubernatorial campaign.

Nineteen-year Chicago Sun-Times veteran Dave McKinney revealed in his resignation letter how the newspaper covering state capital news reassigned him after Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner accused him of conflict of interest, a claim he denied.

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The former Springfield bureau chief submitted the letter Wednesday to the Sun-Times' parent company, Wrapports LLC, expressing his belief that the owners of the paper had improperly influenced decisions made in the newsroom.

This comes amidst several business changes and controversies involving the Sun-Times' parent company who had been reportedly negotiating the sale of some suburban newspapers in the state.

On the other hand, Sun-Times Publisher Jim Kirk explained that McKinney's reassignment was only temporary and was not at all influenced by Rauner, expressing his utmost respect to the long-time journalist whom he deemed as "among the best" in his line of work.

According to a Reuters report, the Rauner campaign requested the paper to reveal McKinney's marriage to a Democratic party consultant after the paper ran the reporter's article on accusations that the gubernatorial candidate threatened a former executive in one of his companies.

In his defense, McKinney explained in his resignation letter, which he posted on his blog, that his wife had been contractually banned from consulting during the gubernatorial race making the allegations of conflict of interest untrue.

Last weekend, Rauner's campaign manager Chip Englander accused McKinney's report of being irresponsible, inaccurate, and misleading noting that the newspaper should have included the journalist's "deep connections to an attack group that has spent millions attacking Bruce Rauner."

Following McKinney's resignation, however, Englander expressed his regrets, citing that the Rauner Campaign team is "saddened to see Dave leave the Sun-Times." 

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