Illinois 'cannabis candidate' accused of abuse, misrepresenting resume

Illinois 'cannabis candidate' accused of abuse, misrepresenting resume
© Getty Images

Illinois congressional candidate Benjamin Thomas Wolf, a former FBI employee who has become known as the "cannabis candidate," has been accused of past physical abuse and misrepresenting his resume.

Wolf, a progressive candidate running in the Democratic primary to unseat Rep. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyCongress must not ignore the ‘flashing red light’ on election security Midwife: Lack of diversity in profession hurts pregnant women of color Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia MORE (D) in a district near Chicago, is facing scrutiny after a former girlfriend who interned for his campaign accused him of being emotionally and physically abusive.

Katarina Coates, a student at DePaul University, told Politico that Wolf was frequently abusive toward her, saying that in one incident he hit her and pinned her to the ground with his foot. 

While Coates did not report the allegations of violence to the police, she reportedly informed officials at both her university and Roosevelt University, the Chicago school where Wolf said he was an adjunct professor. 


When informed of the alleged abuse by Coates, DePaul campus security officers told her that Wolf had been banned from the campus over a series of threatening messages he allegedly sent to a university professor after a book deal fell through, including one telling him to kill himself, the professor said.

Another former girlfriend, Kari Fitzgerald, told Politico that Wolf was not violent toward her but demonstrated "abusive, escalating behavior." 

Wolf, who denied to Politico the claims of abuse, is also facing skepticism over his past claims of being an "Iraq veteran." 

While the candidate lists his experience as a diplomat in the Foreign Service under the State Department during the war on his website, including work in war zones, he was never a member of the armed services. 

"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 told Politico.

His claims of being an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University have also been questioned, with the university's human resources department telling Newsweek that Wolf was there for an "independent study" in 2016 and had not been affiliated with the university since. 

The Hill has reached out to the Wolf campaign for comment.