BARRINGTON – Republican House Leader Jim Durkin response to State Rep. Nick Sauer's ex-girlfriend's accusations that the state lawmaker posted nude photos of her online without her consent was immediate. Durkin announced Sauer would be resigning Wednesday.
"The allegations that have come forth against Representative Nick Sauer are troubling," Durkin said. He will be resigning from office today. We should allow the proper authorities to conduct their investigations."
As soon as the allegations were made public in POLITICO, Sen. Melinda Bush, a Democrat that co-chairs the Joint Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention and serves on the Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access panel formed earlier this year, called for Sauer to step down.
“Democrat or Republican – this behavior is inappropriate and unbecoming of someone elected to serve the public. I applaud the Illinois Republican Party for calling for Rep. Sauer’s resignation; I hope he will do the right thing and step down immediately," CapitolFax reported Bush said.
When asked, Governor Rauner, who has been a big supporter of Sauer, agreed the freshman legislator should step down.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) emphasized the climate of sexual harassment that has been allowed to grow in Springfield over the years.
"Representative Sauer did the right thing by resigning today. Sexual misconduct and abuse has no place in the work place or any place for that matter," Ives said in an issued statement. "Mr. Sauer's resignation is not, however, the ending of this difficult chapter in the Illinois legislature.
"In October, over 300 women working in Springfield signed a #MeToo letter detailing the toxic culture in the capitol. For three years, leaders left the position of Legislative Inspector General vacant," she said. "Today, we only have an interim LIG. This is not how people who are serious about reform and accountability operate. The position of LIG must be kept independent and made permanent. And a transparent process must be put in place for complainants. Whether or not more women come forward, we know that many have been hurt by our elected officials – professionally and otherwise. It is a disgrace. If we are to change that culture, we must change out Illinois' political leadership. As I have stated, we cannot hope to have a good and virtuous government without good and virtuous men and women to lead it."
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