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Speaker Madigan Rejects Calls For Resignation Over Handling Of Sexual Harassment Claims Of Aide

Powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is dismissing calls to resign after a campaign worker for Illinois Democrats says it took party officials too long to respond after she reported sexual harassment by a male supervisor last year.

Credit Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Madigan fired long-time political consultant Kevin Quinn Monday after an investigation found he sent inappropriate text messages to a colleague.

State Rep. Scott Drury, who’s running for attorney general, is a longtime critic of the speaker. He's among those calling on Madigan to step down.

However, Madigan says this is just another case of Drury doing the bidding of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

"For Drury to say that I should step aside, that’s the same thing as Rauner saying I should step aside, which I don’t plan to do." he said.

Chris Kennedy, a Democrat running for governor, says the speaker should at least temporarily relinquish his role as head of the Democratic Party of Illinois. 

Democratic campaign worker Alaina Hampton addressed reporters Tuesday on the handling of the case. She feels her harasser was protected as months passed without follow-up. 

Text logs shared with the Chicago Tribune show Hampton asked Kevin Quinn several times to stop asking her out and sending suggestive texts, which started in 2016. She reported the behavior in February 2017 to Quinn's supervisor. In November, she wrote Madigan, who had an attorney investigate.

Hampton says she told her mentor and Kevin Quinn's brother, Chicago Alderman Marty Quinn, about the harassment. But she says he didn't act quickly.

"I know you didn’t choose for this to happen, but you made the choice to protect Kevin instead of me," she said.

In a statement, Alderman Quinn says Hampton asked him to be discreet with the accusation, so he didn’t tell the speaker.

Hampton has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint.

  • Illinois Public Radio's Tony Arnold, Brian Mackey, WNIJ's Jessie Schlacks, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 WNIJ Northern Public Radio. To see more, visit WNIJ Northern Public Radio.

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