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Dem Candidates Dissatisfied With Madigan's Response To Sexual Harrassment Claims

House Speaker Mike Madigan
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
House Speaker Mike Madigan

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said this week House Speaker Michael Madigan should at least temporarily step down as head of the Democratic Party, while state Sen. Daniel Biss said he hopes Madigan’s firing of the aide accused of harassment isn’t just political damage control. Frontrunner J.B. Pritzker has been more tentative in his response. Listen to the story.

The speaker fired Kevin Quinn earlier this week after Madigan’s lawyer spent three months investigating accusations that Quinn harassed a campaign staffer.       

Biss says he believes the speaker's political power prevented an adequate investigation.  

“I’ve been saying that Speaker Madigan has been in power for too long, and is too powerful for a very, very long time. I think we need to make sure there is a thorough investigation, an investigation where a woman that’s come forward is respected and trusted.” 

But Pritzker, despite repeated questions, continued to say he needed to know the exact facts before weighing in.  Finally, after being pressed, he said investigations like these, "shouldn’t take that long.” 

Through his attorney, Madigan is defending the three-month investigation into Alaina Hampton’s allegations of harassment by Quinn. The attorney said she needed that much time to gather all the facts.

Several have called for Madigan's resignation, including attorney general candidate Scott Drury, but the speaker says he has no plans to step down.

Candidate for governor Bob Daiber said he can’t criticize Madigan on the investigation’s delay because he believes in due process.   

Copyright 2021 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS. To see more, visit NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.

Daisy reports on various assignments for NPR Illinois. She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting master’s degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she spent time covering the legislative session for NPR Illinois' Illinois Issues. Daisy interned then researched for the Chicago Reporter. She obtained an associate degree in French language from Harry S Truman College and a bachelor's degree in communications from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Before coming to Springfield, Daisy worked in communication roles for several Chicago non-profits. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.
Daisy Contreras
Daisy reports on statehouse issues for our Illinois Issues project. She's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield. She graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an associates degrees from Truman College. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.