Nominee for Illinois Treasurer Inspector General withdraws after social media posts revealed

Social posts equated white Christian nationalist to terrorists.

Updated: September 17, 2021 - 12:18am

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The nominee for the Executive Inspector General for the Illinois Treasurer has withdrawn from consideration after controversial social media posts were revealed.

Acting Treasurer OEIG Dennis Rendleman has been on the job since February 2020 with a $100,000 a year salary.

“Dennis Rendleman is a nationally recognized expert on ethics,” said Treasurer Michael Frerichs spokesman Greg Rivara. “However, Mr. Rendleman has asked us to withdraw his nomination and indicated that he will work with the Treasurer’s Office to provide an orderly transition to a new nominee as Executive Inspector General.”

During a Senate Executive Appointments Committee Monday, Rendleman testified he’s been busy with ethics training for staff and fielding complaints.

“The primary issue that we dealt with during the pandemic period has been revolving door,” Rendleman told Senators.

The Treasurer’s OEIG monthly reports for August indicate there are five revolving-door complaints year to date. Altogether, 52 complaints year to date have been referred to another investigatory body. There are no cases pending before the Executive Ethics Commission or pending investigation on any other issue.

Rendleman’s nomination was up for final approval during Monday’s special session, but the final full Senate vote never came.

State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, sponsored Rendleman, saying in committee he supported him, but then requested the appointment be held back after social media posts were revealed.

“We saw bad language, we saw posts that were accusing Republicans of killing people, essentially,” McClure said. “We saw just over the top extremist language which is just totally inappropriate for someone who wants to continue to serve, by the way, he’s been serving in this capacity while making these posts, but someone who’s supposed to be an inspector general, kind of above the fray, fair, impartial, that is not what we were seeing with these posts.”

Some posts obtained by The Center Square showed Rendleman writing on Facebook “White ‘Christian’ nationalists = Taliban/ISIS/Al Qaeda” and linking to separate Politico and NPR online articles. Another post Rendleman shared showed three people wearing Klu Klux Klan outfits with the text “when you accidentally wash your KKK robe with your MAGA hat.”

“They were of the most extreme types of political discussions on his Facebook page and all of us believed they were inappropriate,” McClure said.

The OEIG website says the office’s mission says “when evidence of actual or apparent impropriety exists in state government, it must be effectively and objectively dealt with either administratively or through the court system.”

Rivera said there haven’t been any issues with Rendleman in his long legal career.

“In Mr. Rendleman’s nearly 40-year legal career, there have been no issues or concerns raised about his ability to separate his personal opinions from the objective and neutral positions with which he has been entrusted by [University of Illinois Springfield], [Illinois State Bar Association], the [American Bar Association], and the Illinois Supreme Court,” Rivera said.

Rendleman couldn’t be reached for comment.

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