A former Michael Madigan campaign worker has settled with four of the House Speaker’s political action committees over allegations of sexual harassment by one of Madigan’s top aides in federal court. The Chicago Tribune reported last night that Alaina Hampton will receive a $275,000 settlement after filing a federal lawsuit in 2018 accusing Madigan’s political operations of retaliation after she reported Kevin Quinn for inappropriate behavior. The settlement dates back to Tuesday, which is less than a week since North Side Democrat Senator Iris Martinez called on Madigan to explain $30,000 in payments to Quinn after he was fired or resign his post from the House.
The settlement comes a little more than a week after the Tribune reported that Madigan’s longtime confidant Michael McClain, an ex-lobbyist for ComEd, had orchestrated for other current and former ComEd lobbyists to give Quinn contracts after Madigan fired him amid the scandal. The more than $30,000 in payments to Quinn and emails about the work are part of a sweeping federal investigation into ComEd lobbying activities, the Tribune has reported.
Of the settlement, Hampton will receive $75,000, according to Shelly Kulwin, her attorney. Kulwin said his law firm would receive the bulk of the rest of the funds, but a portion also will go to Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, an organization that has helped women impacted by sexual harassment cases since the beginning of the national #MeToo movement.
The four Madigan-controlled committees that reached the settlement with Hampton are the Democratic Party of Illinois, the Democratic Majority, the 13th Ward Democratic Organization and Friends of Michael J. Madigan. The settlement also says the Madigan committees are not admitting liability or wrongdoing by making the payment.
As part of the settlement, Hampton will drop her federal case and not pursue legal action against Madigan and several of his aides in the matter. The agreement includes clauses that Madigan and key members of his team will not disparage Hampton, and she won’t disparage specific individuals, including Madigan. She will not seek employment with the Madigan committees also as part of the agreement.
According to Hampton, the agreement brings to a close a 39-month long saga both personally and professionally. For Madigan’s closest allies, it brings to a close a case that has dogged them for months as federal investigators continue to close to the Speaker and ends a high-profile embarrassment that lawmakers in the state have continually searched for answers from Madigan for.