Sarah Climaco

Report: Illinois ‘Cannabis Candidate’ Subject of Title IX Complaint & Allegedly Misrepresented Military Record

The self-described “Cannabis Candidate” running for an Illinois congressional seat has been accused of domestic abuse, conflating his service background, and was the subject of a Title IX complaint at Roosevelt University where he served as an adjunct professor, and has been barred from the campus of DePaul University over complaints of abuse and threats, according to a report from Politico.

The report outlines a Title IX complaint against Benjamin Thomas Wolf, who is running to unseat Rep. Mike Quigley, by Katarina Coates, a former girlfriend and campaign intern, who claims Wolf physically abused her on at least six occasions. And while another ex-girlfriend, Kari Fitzgerald, says that Wolf was never abusive toward her, she described him as a “bad guy.”

Title IX refers to a federal law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally-funded education program and is designed to protect students against domestic violence and sexual assault.

“When he thinks he’s been wronged or threatened in any way he lashes out … It’s definitely a situation where he’s escalating. There’s abusive, escalating behavior he’s demonstrating.” – Fitzgerald to Politico

Official campaign photo for Benjamin Wolf, which features him sitting on a black chair smoking a joint in front of an abstract, multi-colored painting of the U.S. flag. Photo credit: Benjamin Foote

According to DePaul University Deputy Director of Public Safety Michael Dohm, Wolf was barred from that campus following a complaint by philosophy professor Jason Hill who filed a report against Wolf after a student came to him crying over an incident with the candidate. Hill alleges that Wolf threatened him after the complaints were filed.

“To even have to comment on Benjamin Wolf is upsetting to me. I spent two years trying to get over having anything to do with him. … He wrote a lot of nasty letters to me encouraging me to kill myself. He said: ‘you should just commit suicide.’” – Hill to Politico

Wolf has also never served in the military; but argues that he didn’t misrepresent himself but rather others misunderstood him. Wolf claims to have served as a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who has worked with both the State Department and Foreign Service.

“People in the military get upset when I say I served in Iraq. The military doesn’t have a patent on the word ‘served.’” – Wolf to Politico

Wolf has denied all of the claims against him.

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