Thankfully, Bruce Rauner is no longer the governor of this state. The impact of his tenure, though it was short, will take some time to repair.
Before he was governor, Rauner was a general partner in the private equity firm GTCR.
Although he is no longer with the investment firm, his spirit remains.
When he was in charge of GTCR he made millions in public pension investments even as he attacked the pension systems and the public pension retirees who depended on them as often their only retirement income.
While at GTCR, Rauner had the company invest in nursing homes. GTCR would cut staff and expenses leading to the deaths of at least six patients. The courts let him off.
Although Rauner is no longer with GTCR and is, thankfully, no longer Illinois Governor, the Republican businessman brought the private equity culture with him to Springfield.
And that culture continues at his old firm.
In 2011, GTCR bought Oak Brook-based Sterigenics, which uses chemicals to sterilize medical and lab equipment. One of its plants in Willowbrook was shut down in February after revelations that it’s been spewing cancer-causing fumes into the air for decades. Outraged residents are demanding it be closed permanently.
I follow these things pretty closely, but this is the first I have heard about Rauner’s old private equity firm’s connection to Sterigenics.
GTCR bought Sterigenics in 2011 when Rauner still ran it.
Rauner didn’t resign until 2012.
Crain’s asks it it was a good investment by GTCR.
Not for the victims.