The first of three men dismissed from Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's inner circle over harassment allegations released a 14-page document titled "The Truth" on Wednesday, addressing the claims made against him on the same day a federal lawsuit over the scandal headed to court.
Kevin Quinn was a high-ranking political aide to Madigan before his termination in February, just one day before former Madigan staffer Alaina Hampton came forward to publicly detail multiple harassment allegations against Quinn.
Hampton said Quinn, as her supervisor, 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.
She also accused Madigan and his associates of attempting to sweep her complaint under the rug and refusing to hire her for a political campaign in retaliation for coming forward.
Quinn addressed those allegations in his document, which began with an "Acknowledgement of Responsibility & Perspective."
"It was never my intent to make Ms. Alaina Hampton feel uncomfortable," Quinn wrote.
"I take responsibility for sending the text messages she has publicly released between us and apologize for my attempts to get to know her outside of necessary interactions," he continued, before detailing the timeline of their interactions and the aftermath as he saw it.
"I served as a political and government aide for Speaker Michael J. Madigan for twenty years and understand how the media and politics work," Quinn added. "Controversy and negative stories about elected officials sell papers and increase ratings as viewers get wrapped up in conflict."
"It is no secret that the media has strong unconscious personal biases against Speaker Madigan," he said. "Negative news sells and so in large the news coverage over the last fifteen years surrounding Speaker Madigan has attempted to paint him in a negative light."
"Based on the amount of misinformation that has been reported, I feel it is important to see that the truth is made public," Quinn continued, before detailing what he called "key facts" that included assertions that he was not Hampton's supervisor, that the position she sought and was not given had been filled prior to her inquiry, and that she was not welcomed back to the organization because she took a position on a campaign against an ally of the organization.
Quinn went on to detail "Conflicting Statements & Actions" in a chart that featured quotes from Hampton on the left next to his response on the right. In that section, he alleged that Hampton "never worked for the Democratic Party of Illinois" and that she contacted him "several times... to help her with various tasks," among other claims.
He also included screenshots of text messages that Hampton had previously shared to illustrate his own points: that his brother, 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, was Hampton's supervisor, and that she was "frustrated that the Organization could not provide her the opportunities she was seeking."
Kevin Quinn released the document - which also included his own detailed timeline of events beginning with Hampton's hiring in October 2012 - on the same day that the lawsuit Hampton filed against the Democratic Party of Illinois, Friends of Michael J. Madigan, the Democratic Majority and the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, began the federal court process.
Judge Sara Ellis set a discovery schedule on Wednesday, deciding to later revisit the DPI's motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that Hampton was not an employee of the organization.
Hampton's attorney Shelly Kulwin addressed Kevin Quinn's document during a news conference after the court hearing Wednesday, saying, "It's easy to write the truth when you're only using your documents that are out in the public."
"We've yet to see the internal communications that were going on at the time," Kulwin continued, asking, "What were the texts and emails going back and forth between Mr. Quinn and his brother? What were the texts and emails going back and forth between Mr. Madigan and Mr. Quinn and his brother? What were all the internal documents saying? What was happening that we haven't seen yet?"
"I'll respond to 'the truth' once I know the truth," he added.
Kevin Quinn's document included a disclaimer that its views were solely his, and not reflective of Madigan or any associated political organizations.
A spokesman for Madigan said they had not seen the document until its release.
"To our knowledge, no one within the Speaker’s government or political offices had any involvement with Kevin Quinn in preparing this document," spokesman Steve Brown said in a statement. "The Speaker’s focus has been on taking steps to change the culture in and around Illinois politics, including requesting independent investigations into complaints and significant structural and operational changes to his government and political offices. The complaint and today's court action is aimed at dismissing the Democratic Party of Illinois since the committee had no relationship or involvement in the claim."