Top Madigan Aide Resigns After Harassment Claim - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Top Madigan Aide Resigns After Harassment Claim

Tim Mapes is the third high-ranking member of Madigan's political circle to be accused of harassment in recent months

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Madigan Chief of Staff Out Over Harassment Allegations

    House Speaker Mike Madigan's long-time Chief of Staff is out amid harassment allegations. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski has the latest details. 

    (Published Wednesday, June 6, 2018)

    House Speaker Michael Madigan's longtime chief of staff resigned Wednesday just hours after allegations of sexual harassment and bullying from an employee of the Illinois legislature surfaced. 

    Madigan announced the news saying the resignation was "at my direction."

    "Further, Mr. Mapes has resigned as the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois and all other roles with my political committees," he said in a statement. 

    Jessica Basham was named chief of staff for the Office of the Speaker, effective immediately. 

    New Allegations Rock Springfield

    [CHI] New Allegations Rock Springfield

    Allegations of harassment and bribery were levied against a high-ranking Democratic official in Springfield Thursday, and NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern has all the details. 

    (Published Thursday, May 31, 2018)

    Sherri Garrett, an account technician and minutes clerk in Madigan's office, revealed the allegations against Tim Mapes in a news conference in Chicago, saying she chose to speak out "because we have a serious and pervasive problem in our state government, and I could no longer remain silent about my own mistreatment."

    Garrett detailed several allegations of harassment by Mapes, who also serves as the clerk of the Illinois House and the executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois, which Madigan chairs.

    “Regarding Ms. Garrett’s concerns shared earlier today, neither I or the House Democratic Ethics Officer had been made aware of Ms. Garrett’s complaints against Tim Mapes," Madigan said in a statement. "My office was aware of the comments made by then Representative Dunkin and took action to handle the matter. That issue had been disclosed publicly earlier this year by my office along with all other known allegations of harassment. It is clear that the culture needs to change and we need to ensure all issues are dealt with quickly and appropriately."

    Madigan Pens Letter Responding to Lawmaker's Claims of Retaliation

    [CHI] Madigan Pens Letter Responding to Lawmaker's Claims of Retaliation
    Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan responded Tuesday to claims that he retaliated against a state lawmaker in his own party, less than a day after she came forward alleging that she was forced to resign from her part-time position in Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office after she spoke out against the powerful lawmaker. Mary Ann Ahern reports.
    (Published Tuesday, May 22, 2018)

    Beginning in spring 2013, Garrett said she reported former state Rep. Ken Dunkin for making inappropriate comments after he told her and another woman, "I want to take both of you home and see which one will be the naughtiest."

    After reporting the incident, Garrett said she heard that Mapes' response was that it would "blow over," leading her to believe he would not take appropriate action.

    In December 2014, Garrett said Mapes told her she needed to make sure she was not showing her "pink bra" because he "knows how us girls on the second floor like to leave little to the imagination."

    Questions Surface About Madigan's Investigation

    Questions Surface About Madigan's Investigation

    Some Democrats are questioning the leadership of powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan. NBC 5's  Mary Ann Ahern has the latest.

     

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018)

    Garrett said she was approached in September 2015 by another female employee who had been harassed by an unnamed lawmaker, and when Garrett asked Mapes to speak to the legislator, he responded by asking, "Are you reporting the situation because you are upset the Representative isn’t paying attention to you?"

    Garrett detailed a fourth alleged incident a few weeks ago in which Mapes said another individual "wouldn’t do something because the person was married," before looking to her and adding, "We know that doesn't matter around here, does it, Sherri?"

    Garrett said she responded with a statement about the legislature's "reputation," at which point she alleged Mapes said he was "not implying" that she was "running around" on her husband.

    Madigan Hires Independent Counsel After Aide Allegations

    [CHI] Madigan Hires Independent Counsel After Allegations Against Aide
    The latest on the firestorm surrounding House Speaker Mike Madigan and sexual harassment allegations within his inner circle: The woman he's chosen as independent counsel speaks to NBC 5 as well as one of the very few democratic lawmakers who has been openly critical of how Madigan has handled this investigation. Mary Ann Ahern reports.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018)

    In April, Garrett said she heard Mapes jokingly ask a colleague if they were going to "sex training," which Garrett said was making light of the harassment training at a time in which "this training is so critical."

    Finally, on the day of the State of the State address in January of this year, when many in Springfield wore black in solidarity with the #TimesUp movement against sexual harassment, Garrett said Mapes wore navy blue and commented that he did so "because there’s not a woman on the House floor that would want me to tell them what to wear."

    Mapes "has an inordinate amount of power in this state," Garrett said in a statement, adding that "the Speaker’s Office, which he helms, is charged with leading the effort to reform the system to address concerns like mine. They should be held to the highest standard."

    Madigan Releases List of Harassment, Discrimination Complaints

    [CHI] Madigan Releases List of Harassment, Discrimination Complaints
    Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan released a list of nine complaints that include harassment or discrimination over the past 5 years inside his office. Patrick Fazio reports.
    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018)

    Garrett's allegations came just days after a female activist accused House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang of years of harassment and intimidation, resulting in his resignation from his leadership post.

    Mapes is the third high-ranking member of Madigan's political circle to be accused of harassment in recent months, and as chief of staff, the most senior member of the powerful speaker's organization to face allegations of inappropriate conduct.

    In February, a former Madigan staffer brought forth allegations of harassment against Kevin Quinn, a high-ranking political operative that the speaker announced the day before had been terminated amid the growing scandal.

    Woman Accusing Madigan Aide of Harassment Claims Retaliation

    [CHI] Woman Accusing Madigan Aide of Harassment Claims Retaliation

    The woman who accused a high-ranking political aide to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan of sexual harassment said Wednesday that she is being targeted in retaliation for speaking out. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018)

    His accuser, Alaina Hampton, later filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the powerful lawmaker's political committee and the Democratic Party of Illinois ignored her complaints of inappropriate conduct and retaliated against her for bringing them forward.

    Just days after Hampton came forward, a second high-ranking aide to Madigan, Shaw Decremer, was quietly removed from his organization over allegations of misconduct.

    Garrett said Wednesday that she planned to file a complaint with the Legislative Inspector General.

    Kevin Quinn's Ex-Wife Says She Warned of Alleged Abuse

    [CHI] Estranged Wife of Ex-Madigan Aide Says She Warned of Alleged Abuse

    The estranged wife of high-ranking political operative Kevin Quinn told NBC 5 Friday that she sent a letter to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's office, desperately seeking assistance and detailing domestic abuse allegations against her husband, more than six months before Quinn was terminated from his role in the powerful Democrat's organization over claims that he had sexually harassed another woman. The abuse allegations were also detailed in court records. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

    (Published Friday, Feb. 16, 2018)

    Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android