* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service…
The newly appointed Inspector General in Springfield told the victim of alleged sexual harassment by a lawmaker to turn over unlimited access to her cell phone and social media account.
Anti-abuse advocate Denise Rotheimer says Julie Porter, the woman lawmakers tabbed to be the Legislative Inspector General, asked for a little more of her private life than she wanted to give up.
“What she was asking for was way too overreaching and unrelated to the complaint,” Rotheimer said. “I didn’t want to give her access to all of my text messages going years and years back.”
Eventually, Porter settled for just the information specific to Rotheimer’s complaint.
Rotheimer had already given Porter hundreds of pages of Facebook and other comments she received from married state Senator Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago. The comments included things that ranged from aggressive flirtation to lewd comments about Rotheimer’s body.
* Meanwhile, WBEZ has a story up about how Sen. Ira Silverstein did some legal work for Denise Rotheimer’s father while he was allegedly sexually harassing her…
What’s more, if Rotheimer’s sexual harassment claims are validated by [interim Legislative Inspector General Julie Porter], the law license Silverstein has held since 1985 could be at risk, said the former 15-year head of the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, which licenses Illinois attorneys and recommends sanctions against lawyers who engage in misconduct. […]
“If he were found to have engaged in conduct that amounted to sexual harassment of her in the context of representing her father — and there were a finding by some administrative body that the harassment had occurred — he would be vulnerable in terms of his law license,” said lawyer Mary Robinson, the ARDC’s former administrator who is now in private practice.
However, after reviewing portions of the emails Rotheimer released, Robinson said she is not entirely certain that what she read at WBEZ’s request constitutes a clear-cut punishable offense by her former agency.
“I don’t see a sense of him using authority to keep her engaged. It appears as much as you can tell from just reading black and white … to be a very collaborative engagement. No one seems to be pulling the other one way or another,” Robinson said.
“I didn’t read them all, but I didn’t see any instance in which I would have read any of his messages as suggesting she would be more likely to get what she wanted either on behalf of her father or on behalf of her base … by keeping him happy,” she said. “I did not see an indication he was trying to use power in order to get something she would have been otherwise unwilling to engage in.”
Well, that’s one opinion.