Madigan dismisses aide accused of sexual harassment
By Ray Hanania
[UPDATED Tuesday Feb. 13, 2018]
Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan announced the dismissal of a longtime aide after charges he “made unwanted advances” and sent a woman “inappropriate text messages.”
Madigan praised the woman for speaking out and instructed his attorney to “conduct a thorough investigation.”
The charges against Kevin Quinn come in the wake of a series of sexual harassment allegations that have been made against Republicans, Democrats, politicians, government officials, and Hollywood celebrities over the past six months. Quinn is the brother of 13th Ward Alderman Kevin Quinn.
Map boundaries of Southwest Side Chicago ward organizations. Photo courtesy of the City of Chicago
Madigan said his legal counsel also proposed several recommendations to prevent inappropriate behavior and improving methods for reporting and responding to similar allegations.
Here is the statement Madigan released on Monday, February 12, 2018:
House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Monday:
“In November, a courageous woman made me aware that a high-ranking individual within my political operation had previously made unwanted advances and sent her inappropriate text messages. I immediately consulted with my attorney, Heather Wier Vaught, and directed her to conduct a thorough investigation. Ms. Wier Vaught conducted numerous interviews, reviewed the evidence, and recently came to the conclusion that the individual engaged in inappropriate conduct and failed to exercise the professional judgment I expect of those affiliated with my political organizations and the Office of the Speaker.
“As a result, long-time aide Kevin Quinn is no longer an employee of any of my political committees. Mr. Quinn has worked with my political offices for nearly 20 years. While this is the only allegation of such conduct, Mr. Quinn also recently pled guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Based on the culmination of events, Alderman Marty Quinn and I decided that Kevin should no longer be affiliated with the political organization. For the record, Kevin was previously an employee of my State office, and he will not be returning to that role.
“Further, Ms. Wier Vaught made several recommendations aimed at preventing inappropriate behavior and improving methods for reporting and responding to such allegations. My political committees are actively taking steps to implement those recommendations.”
Alderman Quinn issued the following statement on Feb. 13, 2018:
STATEMENT FROM ALDERMAN MARTY QUINN
“In February 2017, I met with Ms. Hampton to discuss her future with the political organization. As one part of this conversation, Ms. Hampton told me that Kevin Quinn, my brother, had sent her personal text messages and she didn’t want him communicating with her. She made it clear she wanted the text messages to stop. She did not share the text messages with me or advise me of the number of times Kevin had asked her out. Hampton’s request was that Kevin cease all communications with her. She also asked for my discretion, and indicated she did not want others to know about the situation, and that Kevin not be further reprimanded. I told her I would make sure he never contacted her again. I told Ms. Hampton she would never need to speak with Kevin again, and that all communications could be directed to me. I had hoped Ms. Hampton would continue to work with me, but I understand her desire to remove herself.
“I immediately met with Kevin and told him to stop all communication with Ms. Hampton. I advised him that such behavior would not be tolerated, and that any further communication with Ms. Hampton would result in immediate termination. He was remorseful and acknowledged his poor judgment.
“I did not take further action, such as advising the Speaker, because I was attempting to protect Ms. Hampton’s privacy and honor her wishes. I thought I took swift action and handled the matter as she requested.
“After Ms. Hampton advised the Speaker and the investigation was conducted, I realized the extent of the text messages and the nature of the conduct. Although the investigation found that the text messages had ceased immediately at my direction, the Speaker and I discussed the full extent of the situation and decided Kevin should no longer be affiliated with the political organization. I asked for Kevin’s resignation. The Speaker accepted his resignation from the political organization and the State office.”
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Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.
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