CHICAGO (CBS) — “House Speaker Mike Madigan failed to protect me,” said Liz Hogan, the woman who says she was beaten up years ago by State Rep. Bob Rita. She came forward Thursday after over a decade of silence.
“It’s mortifying, it’s disgusting. I’ve lived with this,” Hogan said, adding that she can never forget what Rita did to her in 2002 — which was when he was first running for state representative.
“He grabbed me by the back of my hair and pulled me to the ground. I ran to the back bathroom, he was chasing me from behind. I tired to lock the door behind myself, and that’s where he pulled me down on the floor again. And some awful things happened and were said,” Hogan said.
Rita was charged with domestic battery and criminal trespassing. He is also a close political ally of Madigan, who refused to intervene.
Hogan asked her father, retired State Rep. Andy McGann, for help. She says McGann went to talk to Madigan.
“So he came back and he, almost with tears in his eyes, said Mike Madigan says he couldn’t do anything about it. He just threw his hands up in the air,” Hogan said. “Madigan should have acknowledged the problem, addressed it — someone should have talked to Bob Rita about it.”
Rita faced a jury trial and was found not guilty. Now, he’s running for reelection, with Madigan’s support, against challenger Mary Carvlin.
“We have a man in office whose character is known to insiders and its never been addressed. He had been kept in power by Madigan because he’s the perfect rubber stamp,” Carvlin said. “Voting for Bob Rita is voting for Speaker Michael Madigan. This is a man whose organization has rampant sexual harassment and history of protecting the abuser not the abused.
“Time’s up for State Representative Bob Rita and Speaker Michael Madigan. They need to step down.”
A Madigan spokesperson Thursday said the House Speaker has no memory of a meeting between himself and McGann regarding Rita.
CBS 2 contacted Rita’s office for a response but received no comment.