A Democrat State lawmaker is telling Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan to come clean or resign over the announcement of payments to an ousted former aide. Chicago Democrat Senator Iris Martinez sent out a press release yesterday saying the speaker needs to tell the public about what he knew and when he knew it when it comes to $30,000 worth of payments sent to former aide Kevin Quinn while he was unemployed after Madigan fired him for sexual harassment in the case with former political consultant Alaina Hampton.
The first payments arrived right after Madigan publicly stated that Quinn was no longer part of his political organization. The payments were revealed during a public release of emails and wiretaps sent from Madigan confidant and ComED lobbyist Mike McClain this week. During the same period of the payments, Madigan penned a Chicago Tribune Op-ed, saying he made it a personal mission to take the issue of sexual harassment head-on and correct past mistakes at the State House.
The McClain emails say that the Quincy native was Madigan’s hand in most all of the speaker’s lobbying efforts around the state. McClain reportedly wanted to keep the payments confidential and claimed that the lobbyists helping Quinn were “sticking their necks out” until Quinn was “exonerated” of the sexual harassment. Quinn’s harassment lawsuit is still ongoing in Illinois courts. Madigan aides have vehemently denied the Speaker’s involvement in the payments. Federal authorities are using the emails and wiretaps to continue to look for instances of payment for little to no work for ComEd’s lobbying efforts in Springfield. McClain’s home was raided by the FBI in May as an ongoing dragnet of corruption that is allegedly drawing close to Madigan.
Martinez has accused Madigan of paying lip service to the public at large while secretly covering up the problem and creating a PR whisper campaign against Hampton. Martinez has clashed with Madigan in Chicago before over local political slates and appointments in the city. Martinez is also in disagreement with Madigan’s objections to the appointment of Eva-Dina Delgado to the seat of now disgraced Representative Luis Arroyo, according to Capitol Fax.
Martinez’s sentiments were echoed by Representative Kelly Cassidy in speaking with the Tribune, calling the conspiracy “frustrating.” Cassidy is slated to attend Hampton’s new sexual harassment support group for women who have experienced harassment in the workplace that will take place on December 3rd in Chicago. Hampton is forming a group to help women deal with anxiety and a lack of recovery options after the fallout of experiencing sexual harassment in high-powered work environments.