Sexual Harassment Accuser Wants Pritzker To Ax Part of Measure

Jun 10, 2019

Denise Rotheimer, who accused an Illinois state senator of sexual harassment at the start of the #Me-Too movement, now wants Gov. J.B. Pritzker to throw out part of an anti-harassment bill state lawmakers just passed.

Rotheimer, who had input into a sexual harassment measure adopted at the end of the legislative session, says she wants Pritzer to strike a clause she says is unfair to victims.

That clause would impose a $5,000 fine on an accuser if he she or he leaks information from an ethics commission report before its official release.

The addition of the language took the victim’s rights advocate by surprise, she said.

“At the last minute, they put in language that’s going to be harmful to victims of sex assault, which totally goes against the purpose of those rights.”

Pritzker would have to issue an amendatory veto to change that part of the bill. A spokesman for the governor would not say whether he would do that.

State Sen. Melinda Bush, a Democrat from Grayslake who the sponsor of the bill, said the purpose of the fine is to prevent redacted information from becoming public.

“This is not to fine victim; this is  to protect everyone's confidentiality and still allow an accuser to see the report before it becomes public," Bush said.