Former Madigan Campaign Worker Sues Illinois Democratic Party

Mar 22, 2018

A former campaign consultant for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is suing his political committee and the state Democratic Party, alleging that reporting a top lieutenant for sexual harassment hindered her from advancing in the speaker's organization.

Credit BRIAN MACKEY / NPR ILLINOIS

Alaina Hampton filed the lawsuit Wednesday against the Democratic Party of Illinois, chaired by Madigan, and his political fund, Friends of Michael J. Madigan, alleging retaliation for "asserting her rights to be free from unlawful harassment and a sexually hostile work environment."

She contends that her effort to stop Kevin Quinn's unwanted advances prevented her from getting further work on Democratic campaigns.

Hampton alleges in the lawsuit that Quinn sent her text messages and called her in pursuit of a romantic and sexual relationship.

"Notwithstanding Ms. Hampton's repeated statements that she wished to maintain a professional relationship, Kevin Quinn refused to take 'no' for an answer," the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, Quinn began bombarding Hampton with messages between August 2016 and February 2017.

"Specifically, during this five-month period, Kevin Quinn called Ms. Hampton repeatedly, late at night, and sent her dozens of text messages asking her out, telling her she was 'smoking hot' and urging her to go out with him," the lawsuit says.

Shelly Kulwin is Hampton’s attorney.

“Time’s up for the political committees and organizations such as those where Alaina previously worked who tolerate this type of behavior,” she said.

Madigan fired Quinn a day before Hampton went public with her allegations in February and hailed her as a "courageous woman."

But Hampton has called the termination a proactive "cover-up" and said no action was taken for nearly a year after she reported Quinn.

"The pleading is being reviewed by counsel," said Madigan spokesman Steve Brown. "However, I can assure you that the Democratic Party of Illinois and the Friends of MJM have not retaliated against Ms. Hampton in any way."

Hampton's lawsuit seeks $350,000, in addition to attorney's fees.

  • The Associated Press and Illinois Public Radio's Tony Arnold contributed to this report.