Top Illinois Dem Caught Up in Sexual Harassment Scandal
The most powerful Democratic politician in Illinois, House Speaker Mike Madigan, was forced to fire his long time top aide, Kevin Quinn, over sexual harassment allegations. The charges came from a prominent Democratic political consultant, Alaina Hampton. Hampton supplied the Chicago Tribune with a series of texts from Quinn that prove the speaker's aide was harassing her.
The Hill reports that in text messages sent in 2016, Quinn repeatedly asked Hampton to drinks, even after she asked him to stop. Quinn praised Hampton's appearance, asked whether she had a boyfriend and asked why she did not find him attractive.
"I need you to stop. I have dedicated a lot of time to this election cycle and I will continue to do so, but I need to be able to do my work without you contacting me like this," Hampton wrote. "I'm not interested. I just want to do my work."
Not taking "no" for an answer, Quinn asked Hampton out again a month later.
Quinn is not only a top aide to Madigan. He is a connected politician, being the brother of a powerful Chicago alderman.
Quinn is the brother of Marty Quinn, a Chicago alderman who represents the district in which Madigan lives and another senior member of Madigan's political circle. Hampton told Marty Quinn about his brother's behavior about a year ago, she said in a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Monday.
Madigan is under fire for sitting on the harassment allegations for 3 months. Hampton says she sent a letter to the speaker in November detailing the accusations against Quinn. But Madigan only fired Quinn on Monday. He claims his personal lawyer was investigating the matter.
"It doesn't take three months to read those text messages and know that that behavior was inappropriate," Hampton told reporters.
The speaker is also being questioned about alleged retaliation by Madigan against Hampton. The consultant claims that a longtime Madigan confidante, Jack Hynes, was looking into her personal life trying to dig up dirt by interviewing ex-boyfriends.
After all, it's the "Chicago Way."
Madigan has been riding high this year after GOP Governor Bruce Rauner caved into almost all Democratic demands on the budget and taxes. The speaker was also victorious over Rauner in the school funding bill, which altered the formula for how the state divides money among schools. Madigan was able to engineer what amounts to a bailout for the Chicago public schools at the expense of suburban and rural school districts.
But in the world of Illinois politics, even a Democratic woman's complaints take a back seat to power. Madigan and the Democrats are poised to win a big victory in November as the pathetic Republican Party will have an even smaller presence in Springfield. The harassment allegations will disappear, as they were always supposed to.