CHICAGO (AP) — Three ex-state employees who claim former Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford fired them last year in retaliation for providing damaging evidence in a sexual harassment investigation have filed a lawsuit. Wednesday’s filing in Cook County Circuit Court says Patrick Carlson, George Daglas and Ashvin Lad were told they were fired for timekeeping abuses. It describes that allegation as a pretext. Rutherford, his former chief of staff and the agency are named as defendants. Among other demands, the plaintiffs seek back pay, compensation for future wages and emotional distress. The suit is the latest chapter in a saga involving sexual harassment claims that undercut Rutherford’s 2014 campaign for governor. The Republican has denied those claims. The treasurer’s office didn’t have immediate comment. Phone messages left for Rutherford and his attorney weren’t returned.