Rutherford, who is also a Republican candidate for governor, told the Tribune the practice was a way to save money during campaign travel.
"We double-bunk in the campaign," Rutherford told the newspaper. "We always double-bunk when we can. Totally as a cost-saving measure."
The news of Rutherford's rooming practices comes the same week that he was sued for sexual harassment by a former top deputy in his office. The former employee, Edmund Michalowski, on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing Rutherford of sexually harassing him and "pressuring him to perform political work on state time," according to the Tribune. Among other things, Michalowski accused Rutherford of repeatedly "hitting on" him. Rutherford has denied the accusations.
According to the Tribune, Rutherford and his executive assistant, Joshua Lanning, stayed together in a studio apartment in Chicago at least 50 times between 2011 and mid-2012. During that period, the two also billed the state for at least six hotel rooms they stayed in while traveling on state business. Lanning also accompanied Rutherford on three foreign trips he has taken as state treasurer, as well as on a private trip to Australia to visit Rutherford's nephew.
"There's nothing wrong with being friends with employees," Rutherford said. "I consider myself friends with many in the office."