Speaker Madigan Releases List Of Harassment Complaints

Feb 28, 2018

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan continues to push back against accusations that his office mishandled sexual harassment complaints. 

Credit File photo by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Speaker issued a one-page press release Tuesday with brief summaries of nine complaints involving staffers working in his state office. It’s the product of an internal investigation Madigan launched after firing two high-ranking campaign workers.

The summaries contained no names or dates, but Madigan says the list covered the past five years.

One female staffer says a male colleague threatened to ruin her career. Another says she was intimidated and manipulated by a male co-worker.

Madigan says the list shows all complaints made over the past five years and how each was resolved.

Members of his own caucus have called for the Speaker to step down from his leadership roles, alleging his office had a culture of tolerating harassers and mishandling complaints. But the Speaker again pushed back on those claims.

“There’s no culture with me, and if you read through how these were processed, you can see that at the leadership level, we don’t tolerate inappropriate behavior,” he says.

The list provides vague descriptions of how each complaint was resolved. The Speaker claims confidentiality kept his office from disclosing other details. 

Complaints against lobbyists and caucus members, as well as those stemming from Madigan’s campaign office, were also omitted.