2 Women Who Lead #MeToo Movement in Illinois Reflect a Year Later - NBC Chicago
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2 Women Who Lead #MeToo Movement in Illinois Reflect a Year Later

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    2 Women Who Lead #MeToo Movement in Illinois Reflect

    A year ago the Me Too movement erupted across the country. In Illinois, two women at the time spoke up about an alleged harassment and bullying case that happened during their time in Illinois politics. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern has the latest.

    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018)

    Denise Rotheimer was the first to allege harassment last October. Alaina Hampton spoke up too, filing a civil lawsuit as the #MeToo movement rocked the Illinois state capitol.

    Hampton's lawsuit -- still pending -- alleges how her supervisor, Kevin Quinn, sexually harassed her. Quinn lost his political job, his brother, who Hampton asked for help, is Marty Quinn -- running for re-election as the 13th Ward alderman.

    "With the Chicago teachers union or any organization, endorsing Ald. Quinn sends a really strong message to victims, that they're okay with what's happened to them and they're just going to move forward," Hampton said. "In Illinois I don't see much changing," she added.

    State Sen. Ira Silverstein lost his re-election after Rotheimer went public with the more than 400 Facebook messages Silverstein sent to Rotheimer.

    Woman Accusing Madigan Aide of Harassment Claims Retaliation

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    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)

    "We stop congratulating legislators first because they have not made improvements. We need to give accusers rights, we need to make it fair," she said. "Both parties are accountable, neither party has taken responsibility."

    The fallout from me too in Illinois -- has had mixed results -- Speaker Mike Madigan's chief of staff Tim Mapes was fired and is now a lobbyist. State Rep. Nick Sauer resigned, State Rep. Lou Lang hopes to regain his leadership post.

    "We have to keep fighting, it can't be one person, or two people, it has to be everybody," Hampton said.

    Both Hampton and Rotheimer note the negativity they've faced: the victim shaming has brought difficult consequences yet they don't regret speaking up.