CHICAGO (CBS) — House Speaker Mike Madigan has asked for an investigation into sexual harassment and retaliation allegations made by a state lawmaker.
In a letter to Inspector General Julie Porter, Madigan wrote:
“I am writing to ask that you investigate recent allegations of possible sexual harassment and retaliation made by State Representative Kelly Cassidy.
“The allegations center around two events: (1) an inquiry about her outside employment made by my Chief of Staff, Tim Mapes and (2) Representative Bob Rita’s sponsorship of legislation and his comments to her and Sheriff Dart.”
According to published reports, Cassidy, a North Side Democrat, says she felt she had to resign from a part-time job with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office. She says it was political payback because she was critical of how Madigan handled sexual harassment allegations leveled at members of his staff.
Specifically, Cassidy questioned Madigan’s handling of allegations made by political consultant Alaina Hampton, who said she was constantly harassed by Madigan aide Kevin Quinn.
Cassidy opposed a bill backed by Dart that would place inmates who expose themselves in front of female staffers on a sex offender registry.
According to reports by NBC Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times, Cassidy said Rita spoke with her about her opposition. “I really just can’t get over the fact that your opposed to your boss’ bill,” Rita said, according to the reports.
Mapes, Madigan’s chief of staff, also called the sheriff’s office asking if Cassidy “was still employed,” according to the reports.
Cassidy said that she felt was facing retaliation for speaking against Madigan and opposing the legislation and felt she needed to resign.