A second high-ranking operative for Speaker Michael Madigan has been quietly removed from the powerful Democrat’s political organization, according to multiple sources.
Shaw Decremer, who once worked as a Madigan staffer and is now a prominent lobbyist, has been a longtime campaign aide, but in recent years has done so on a volunteer basis. NBC 5 has learned from several sources, including lawmakers and others tied to the Democratic party, that allegations of his inappropriate behavior led to his removal.
Decremer has been a Madigan supervisor on numerous political campaigns, overseeing campaign workers embedded in various races across the state. He is also known for his work as a an expert in the petition process.
NBC 5 first reached out to Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown about the Decremer allegations on Friday. After several hours and multiple requests for comment, Brown finally told NBC 5 by phone Friday that Decremer "has no current assignments" with the Democratic Party - a statement he reiterated by email on Sunday. He added, "I think he was involved in petition challenges last year."
Multiple lawmakers tell NBC 5 Decremer has been involved as a political consultant on behalf of Speaker Madigan during this campaign cycle. Brown, also said in his email Sunday that "if there are any complaints regarding any person I expect the complaints will be handled on a confidential basis."
A statement released by Madigan an hour after NBC 5 first reported Decremer's removal acknowledged the speaker was made aware of "inappropriate behavior by a volunteer toward a candidate and staff" during the 2016 election. The statement does not name Decremer, but multiple sources acknowledge he was removed from Madigan's political organization.
"I quickly made sure the individual had no participation in any activities my committees are involved in. I offered to refer the matter to outside counsel and that offer was declined," Madigan said. "The complainant and I met with the individual and the complainant assured me that the situation had been appropriately resolved. The individual will no longer be involved with any activities of my political committees."
Madigan said he was committed to a change in culture in his political organization.
"I do not tolerate inappropriate behavior or abuse of any kind and remain committed to ensuring all individuals can do their work without fear of harassment, abuse, or retaliation," the statement read.
Decremer’s departure comes as Madigan reels over allegations of sexual harassment made against another high-ranking aide, Kevin Quinn, who was fired a week ago.
The fallout from the handling of the Quinn dismissal led to Madigan sending two letters over the weekend to his Democratic caucus members and appointing an independent counsel. Madigan has also appointed three women lawmakers to lead a new discussion on the future of women in Democratic party politics.
Decremer moved from staffer to lobbyist and has a long list of clients as listed on the Secretary of State's website, including:
CASINO LAW GROUP
CHICAGO COMMONS ASSOCIATION
DISH NETWORK L.L.C.
GTI-CLINIC ILLINOIS HOLDINGS, LLC
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACTION COMMITTEE
ILLINOIS COALITION OF APPRAISAL PROFESSIONALS
ILLINOIS FEDERATION OF DOG CLUBS AND OWNERS
ILLINOIS STATE MEDICAL SOCIETY
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS-LOCAL UNION 134
ISMIE MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
One lawmaker, who asked not to be named, said he was shocked to learn of Decremer’s departure and the allegations of inappropriate behavior, replying “that’s not the Shaw I know.”
Our repeated attempts to reach Decremer by phone and email have not been successful.