Ex-Wife of Former Madigan Aide Says Mapes Covered Up Her Abuse Claims

Allegations against the speaker's longtime right-hand man shed new light on previous complaints of harassment and abuse

The estranged wife of an ex-aide to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan issued a strongly-worded reaction Thursday to the resignation of his chief of staff over harassment and cover-up allegations - similar to claims she raised several months earlier.

"It’s pretty clear he lacks proper judgment and character," Sarah McKay said of Tim Mapes, who resigned as Madigan's chief of staff and clerk of the House Wednesday after a statehouse employee came forward with multiple allegations of sexual harassment and bullying against the speaker's longtime right-hand man.

Sherri Garrett, an account technician and minutes clerk in Madigan's office, revealed the allegations against Mapes, who also served as the executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois prior to his resignation Wednesday, at a news conference in Chicago.

Garrett detailed six separate claims of Mapes engaging in inappropriate behavior, including one in which she said he "did not take appropriate action to address" an incident of harassment and that he tried to sweep it "under the rug" - a claim McKay made of her own report she said she sent him via fax in August 2017.

McKay is the estranged wife of Kevin Quinn, the high-ranking political operative Madigan terminated in February, just one day before former Madigan staffer Alaina Hampton publicly detailed multiple harassment allegations against Quinn.

Hampton 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.

Days later, McKay came forward to allege that she sent a letter to Mapes more than six months earlier, desperately seeking assistance and detailing domestic abuse allegations against her husband - the man at the center of the growing scandal.

In it, she wrote that she was contacting Mapes because she believed she was "out of options" when it came to their divorce proceedings that began roughly three months prior.

"I don't think anyone knows the severity of the current situation within our family," McKay wrote. "There have been 3 domestic situations at my home since February, the last on July 5, 2017, resulting in Kevin's arrest."

McKay wrote that she was granted an order of protection against Quinn. The existence of that order and her allegations of physical abuse was verified by court records obtained by NBC 5.

"I reached out, pleading for help and they ignored me - and I have two children," McKay told NBC 5 in a February phone interview.

"Any intervention would be greatly appreciated but I do understand where your loyalty is," McKay's August letter to Mapes reads. "I hope you understand at this point I have to do whatever is necessary to protect my sons and myself."

At the time, Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said the speaker "did not receive letter," adding, "a review of possible locations where letter might be sent did not locate it."

Following Mapes' resignation, McKay scrutinized that claim once more.

"For him to be trusted and believed when he said he never got that fax is ridiculous," she said, adding, "All he did was cover it up and put me through more hell with Kevin Quinn."

Brown did not immediately respond to request for further comment on McKay's claims in light of Mapes' resignation.

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