SPRINGFIELD – Allegations of ignored sexual harassment among House Speaker Mike Madigan's staff is in the headlines again this week following a story broken by WBEZ. The the Illinois Republican Party responded with the following lengthy press statement Wednesday:
“Speaker Madigan’s own office says that on multiple occasions, Madigan fired employees accused of sexual harassment, but we don't know who or when. Over a year ago, Madigan released a partial list of harassment complaints against unnamed employees of his, but the public was never given a full list of complaints and whether or not those complaints have been resolved. Outside of that list, there are three instances where a Madigan employee was fired, dismissed, or resigned because of harassment complaints, but that still does not give us the full scope of harassment in Madigan’s organization.
“In the interest of transparency, Madigan should release the full list of complaints made against his employees and disclose any instances where he terminated their employment. The people of Illinois deserve to know that the most powerful political figure in the state is fully addressing sexual harassment allegations in his own office,” said Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot.
A recent court filing reveals a new sexual harassment complaint against a former employee of Speaker Mike Madigan.
WBEZ broke the story:
There are new details about an allegation that powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s office did not act upon “sexual harassment and/or assault” complaints brought against one of his aides, according to federal court documents.
…Hampton’s lawyers write that she learned of two women who reported “sexual harassment and/or assault” by Travis Shea, who worked on Madigan’s government staff, to the speaker’s attorney.
But after reporting to Madigan’s attorney, Heather Wier Vaught, that “nothing was done in response,” Shea continued to work for the speaker’s office for two more years, according to the court filing. The document didn’t offer primary documentation of the complaints or any more details, except to say “Plaintiff’s investigation continues.”
Responding to the court filings, Madigan’s office claimed the Speaker himself was unaware of the allegations, but if he was, he would’ve terminated the employment of the employee in question, as he has on other occasions.
“Speaker Madigan was not made aware of the allegations. Had the allegations been brought to the Speaker at the time, he would have terminated any employment relationship with Mr. Shea, as he has done on other occasions upon learning of such incidents.”
Over a year ago, Madigan released a partial list of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation complaints he says his office has investigated during the past five years. The list does not pertain to Madigan’s political organization, only complaints made by employees of the Speaker’s office. The list did not include any specific names of individuals accused of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. Madigan claimed that the complaints in the partial list have been resolved.
And outside of that list, we know that these top employees of Madigan have been fired, dismissed, or resigned:
- Tim Mapes, Madigan’s former Chief of Staff, Clerk of the Illinois House, and Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois, “resigned”
- Shaw Decremer, former top campaign aide to Madigan and lobbyist, “dismissed”
- Kevin Quinn, former top campaign aide to Madigan, “fired”
In the interest of transparency, Madigan should release the full list of complaints made against his employees and disclose any instances where he terminated their employment. The people of Illinois deserve to know that the most powerful political figure in the state is fully addressing sexual harassment at the State Capitol.