A newly released legislative inspector general's report has concluded that Kevin Quinn, a former top aide to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, did sexually harass former political consultant Alaina Hampton under current sexual harassment provisions, but that he did so before those provisions were in place.
Quinn was a top political operative for Madigan for nearly 20 years until February 2018, when Hampton, who had also previously worked for Madigan, accused him of sexual harassment.
Hampton said Quinn harassed her for five months beginning in fall 2016, making multiple unsolicited advances and sending inappropriate text messages at all hours, even after she said she told him repeatedly that the relationship was strictly professional.
Hampton said she reported Quinn's inappropriate behavior to his supervisor, Ald. Marty Quinn, in February 2017, but her claims "were disregarded and ignored,” her lawsuit reads.
Hampton 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.
In a statement reacting to the IG report released Wednesday, Madigan said he has "strengthened and improved protections for victims of harassment in both my office and across my political organizations."
"The former Legislative Inspector General reviewed my actions and determined Ms. Hampton’s allegations against me were unfounded," Madigan said. "She advised me that my office took the investigation seriously and made a reasoned decision as to how to impose consequences for Kevin Quinn’s misconduct."
Ald. Marty Quinn said in a statement: "The Legislative Inspector General’s report reiterates the statement I made in February 2018 and confirms my handling of this situation. When Ms. Hampton notified me of inappropriate text messages from my brother, I took immediate action. I also did exactly what she asked me to do. I understood Ms. Hampton wanted the text messages to stop and I made sure she was never contacted by my brother again. I have never wavered from creating a safe and productive workplace and I never will."
Quinn wasn't the only member of the speaker's organization to face allegations of inappropriate conduct by a staff member.
A separate legislative inspector general's report released Wednesday found Madigan's former longtime chief of staff Tim Mapes "violated the Ethics Act by engaging in conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose and effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, and offensive working environment" and can never be rehired as a state employee. Mapes also refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Sherri Garrett, an account technician and minutes clerk in Madigan's office, revealed on June 6, 2018, allegations of sexual harassment and bullying against 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." Mapes resigned hours later. Madigan said the resignation was "at my direction."
In a Chicago Tribune op-ed last September, Madigan said "I didn't do enough, and that we, collectively, have failed in the Capitol to ensure everyone can reliably, confidentially and safely report harassment."
A report released in August on an investigation into Madigan's office described a workplace culture of bullying and harassment in which some employees said they did not feel comfortable reporting allegations of misconduct and were made to feel "dispensable."