Hultgren fires aide after sexual encounter with teenage boy

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Illinois GOP Rep. Randy Hultgren has fired a top aide after the staffer was found in a car last fall with a 17-year-old boy and no shirt on, according to multiple sources and a police report.

Nick Provenzano, 56, was dismissed by Hultgren over the weekend, the sources said.

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Hultgren’s office declined to comment on the details of Provenzano’s firing. “Nick Provenzano is no longer with the office,” said a Hultgren spokesperson. No further information was provided, including when Hultgren found out about the encounter.

But through a Freedom of Information Act request, POLITCO obtained an Oct. 21, 2017, incident report from the city of McHenry Police Department in Illinois. That report shows police investigated Provenzano for public indecency and other potential criminal acts following the episode, but no charges were ever filed.

The name of the teenager is redacted in the report.

The report states that a homeowner became suspicious when she saw two men sitting in an SUV on a dead-end street with the lights off and called the police. After a police officer arrived, he approached the car and saw that Provenzano had no shirt on, although the other passenger was fully clothed. When Provenzano was questioned by the police about why he had removed his shirt, he said it was “hot.” Provenzano told the officer the two were “hanging out” and “talking about life.”

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Provenzano later told the officer that he “did not want to admit to anything, but stated that contact between him and [the teenager] was consensual in nature, that nobody was forced or coerced each other to engage in any acts they did not want to, and that he believed [the teenager] was eighteen (18) years old.”

The teenager later told police he had met Provenzano on the gay dating site Grindr. The teenager said he was only 17, but the website changed his age to 18.

The teenager said police interrupted them during the middle of their sexual encounter, according to the partially redacted report. Provenzano had removed most of his clothes at one point, the report states.

After questioning by police, Provenzano was released without charges. He later hired a lawyer to respond to police inquiries, but Provenzano refused to be interviewed again. State prosecutors decided no criminal case would be filed against him.

Provenzano was hired as Hultgren’s deputy district director in August 2016. Provenzano had earlier served as Hultgren’s field director during the 2012 and 2014 campaigns.

Provenzano is a graduate of DeVry University with “training in electronics, computer technology and business management,” according to his candidate bio.

He was paid more than $80,000 as Hultgren’s deputy district director last year, according to House disbursement records. He also earned another $28,000-plus from Hultgren’s reelection committee during 2017, according to records on file with the Federal Election Commission.

Provenzano served as a McHenry County board member for 13 years. He was also the campaign manager for former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) in 2010, according to his LinkedIn biography.

Hultgren was first elected to the House in 2010. He was once an aide to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who went to federal prison over secret payments to a man he allegedly sexually abused as a teenager.

Hultgren, a lawyer, served in the Illinois Legislature for a dozen years before he was elected to Congress.

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