A former assistant prison warden at Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mt. Sterling at the center of the explosive 2012 Michael McClain email gave false information during a 2008 Department of Corrections investigation into the misplacing of keys at the facility according to documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act through the Associated Press.
An investigator with DOC said that Forrest Ashby impeded the investigation by giving inaccurate and false information. DOC would not comment about whether Ashby faced discipline for the infraction. According to the report, Ashby told an internal investigator that his keys, which an employee found in the men’s restroom, had been with him the entire day. According to state policy, Ashby giving false information into an investigation is punishable by discipline including dismissal. But state records show Asbhy remained at Corrections after the 2009 investigative report was released, working until 2011, when he went to Human Services. Corrections rehired Ashby in 2013. He retired from the agency in 2018, at which time he began working on Governor J.B. Pritzker’s campaign for governor.
Former lobbyist Michael McClain told Former Governor Pat Quinn’s administration that Ashby should be protected in the now well-known 2012 email talking about ghost workers and a rape cover up in Champaign. The Illinois State Police, the Illinois Attorney General’s office, and the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s office continue their investigation into the alleged rape cover up.