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*** UPDATED x1 - Live video *** Speaker Madigan, Wier-Vaught to speak to reporters about escalating scandal

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018

* From Steve Brown at 1:15 this afternoon…

There will be a media availability with Heather Wier-Vaught and Speaker Madigan in Room 114 of the State House at the conclusion of the caucus that is just beginning. There is no way to estimate the exact time, but I am guessing at least one hour from now. I will try to offer a more precise timetable when information becomes available.

*** UPDATE *** Live video is here.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

Make sure to check our live coverage post for updates.

* On to some coverage highlights. Sun-Times

A political consultant on Tuesday said House Speaker Mike Madigan would have never fired his top aide, Kevin Quinn, the brother of Ald. Marty Quinn, if she hadn’t gone public with accusations that Kevin Quinn had sent her a series of harassing text messages.

The consultant, Alaina Hampton, held a news conference Tuesday that outlined her complaints against Kevin Quinn and Madigan. Hampton said she had never wanted to go public.

“I asked him to stop seven times. It never stopped,” Hampton told reporters at a Chicago press conference of Kevin Quinn’s repeated text messages. “I feared not responding to my supervisor because I didn’t didn’t want him to tell the speaker or Ald. Quinn that I was not cooperating with my work,” Hampton said. “My first instinct was not to complain about him. It was my last option.”

Hampton read a letter directed at Ald. Quinn (13th), whom she called a mentor. She said telling him about his brother “was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.”

* Tribune

Lorna Brett, a former president of the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for Women who is serving as a pro bono advocate for Hampton, questioned the timing of Madigan’s announcement. Brett, a media strategist working with attorneys on legal matters brought against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, said the speaker’s spin “doesn’t pass the smell test.”

[Madigan attorney Heather Wier Vaught] said Kevin Quinn did not contact Hampton again after she told Ald. Quinn about the harassment and noted that Ald. Quinn had requested that she keep working with the organization. Wier Vaught said the alderman told Hampton she could report to him rather than to his brother. She also said Hampton previously had made it clear she didn’t want Kevin Quinn fired.

Hampton said “things really took a bad turn” when Wier Vaught contacted her, saying in the EEOC filing that the attorney had “minimized the sexual harassment.”

Wier Vaught, who works part time as a special counsel to Madigan, said in response that she was “surprised” by the characterization and that it was “never my intention” to do so.

* The last paragraph is key here

Hampton said she felt Madigan and others covered up her complaint and Kevin Quinn would still be in his job if she hadn’t gone to the media. Madigan’s Monday news release announcing his termination was “pre-emeptive,” she said, because the longtime House speaker knew the Tribune story was about to be published.

“They thought that I was too loyal to ever come forward,” she said.

Hampton’s attorney, Shelly Kulwin, said Tuesday that action should have been taken the second Hampton’s allegations became clear.

“At a minimum there should be an investigation by an independent party, usually an outside law firm, to investigate whether there’s any truth,” Kulwin said. “That’s what every credible organization does.”

I agree with Kulwin. State harassment and discrimination laws don’t cover campaign committees (and it’s doubtful that they could because of 1st Amendment issues), so the best way to handle something like this is to retain outside counsel rather than just dealing with it internally, no matter how respected the internal attorney is (and she is).

Wier-Vaught’s investigation lasted about the same time as the LIG probe of Sen. Ira Silverstein. And the resulting banishment of the alleged perp made sense. But sending out a press release about the actions just 12 hours before the Tribune story went live undermined the investigation’s credibility.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Real - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    The guy is fired. The investigation took 3 months. People are making something out of nothing.

  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    Is retaining outside counsel common? From my observations, allegations in the private sector are generally handled by an HR dept. or, in smaller organizations, the owner.

  3. - anon - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 1:53 pm:

    From what we’ve seen so far, Heather appears to have botched this one up pretty bad (and I share Rich’s admiration for her abilities and reputation). I’m sure there’s more to the story, though. Waiting for the presser.

  4. - anon - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    There was no credible investigation If there wads, at a minimum, Kevin Quinn would have had his supervisory responsibilities suspended during the investigation. They were not. For god;s sake, KEVIN WAS ARRESTED IN JULY 2017 FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. That was also brushed under the rug while the taxpayers were paying his salary.

    Also, She says the texts stopped in Feb 2017. Kevin was on the state payroll from Nov 2016 until the texts stopped. Yet he was directing the actions of political people? That should have been reported to the IG

    This whole thing stinks Its time for the statehouse types to remove the scales from their eyes.

  5. - Just Me - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 1:57 pm:

    I have huge response for Heather, but she was asked to do something that was inappropriate. That is the Speaker’s fault, not hers.

    This is further truth that MJM lives in a separate world from the rest of us mere mortals.

  6. - WizzardOfOzzie - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    This all depends on HWV’s interpretation of what her role was. Is she’s the Speaker’s attorney, and thereby obligated to protect his interest? Or is she truly empowered to run an independent investigation?

    Word- Regardless of what the private sector does, they should have understood the potential ramifications of this. It’s hard to say your own attorney, who’s job is to protect your interests, can be a fair and independent arbiter of what happened.

    I agree with Rich. There is nothing to indicate that any action would have been taken but for Alaina going to the press. It would interested for Ray Long to reveal when he contacted the Speaker’s office about this story. The timeline looks really bad for them.

  7. - Miss Marie - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    Real, I’m guessing you’re not a woman

  8. - PJ - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:01 pm:

    I’m a democrat. But I’d challenge anyone here saying this isn’t a big deal to explain why Quinn wasn’t fired until 12 hours before it was published in the Tribune.

    Is anyone really going to sit there and tell me that’s a coincidence? Or that it would have happened even without press involvement?

  9. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    There seems to be a lot of people who are slitting their own wrists on this blog today to make sure there is chum in the water.

    The Speaker was made aware of an issue, had it investigated by a reputable attorney, and took action. Seems to me the “system” worked the way it was supposed to.

  10. - Perrid - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    PJ, it does look suspect, but for all we know the termination would have happened next week, and they just goose stepped things to get ahead of the story. Not very likely, I’ll admit, but not impossible. They succeeded in giving themselves a liiiiiiittle bit of wiggle room.

  11. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    Anyone else expecting Marty Quinn to be thrown under the bus at this press conference? Blaming him for the way he handled the situation is really Madigan’s only way out of this.

  12. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:08 pm:

    word, fwiw, in my most recent public sector experience, we would as a matter of policy utilize outside counsel for sensitive internal personnel matters (like this one.) Avoided any perceptual conflict issues with the in-house attorneys and wasn’t that expensive.

  13. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:09 pm:

    Kulwin is out-of-touch. Most employers do not hire some outside firm to investigate allegations of sexual harrassment.

    Most employers have an HR department whose job it is to investigate complaints.

  14. - PJ - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    ===Not very likely, I’ll admit, but not impossible===

    I think the problem is that Madigan simply doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. He never breaks the law, but we all know that within those lines he’ll pretty much do whatever.

  15. - anon - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    i’d be interested to hear kerry lester’s thoughts on this

  16. - TKMH - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    What would it take for someone to put up a billboard in Madigan’s district, showing a scowling Speaker, captioned “Mike Madigan enables sexual harrassment”? Seems like an easy shot for the ILGOP to take.

  17. - Shytown - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    === Kulwin is out-of-touch. Most employers do not hire some outside firm to investigate allegations of sexual harrassment. Most employers have an HR department whose job it is to investigate complaints. ===

    Yeah that’s working out really well in state government and campaigns, isn’t it? Where’s the HR department for MJM’s political operation or any political operation for that matter?

    The number of apologists for what’s gone down is alarming.

  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    AA, thanks.

    The education on these issues will continue for some time, I believe.

  19. - Unreal Reality - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    It boggles the mind to think that Madigan sat next to Currie while Rotheimer was accusing Silverstein of harassment and all the while he knows that this Quinn business is coming to a boil in his own office.

  20. - Try-4-Truth - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    This presser is going well for Mr. Speaker, IMHO.

  21. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    Well that was uncomfortable to watch. To say the least. Nice of the Speaker to show up to watch others speak for him. Oh wait, he did give one very very very odd, rambling answer to (I guess?) say this is all just Rauner’s doing

  22. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    On what planet was that a good presser for Madigan? He was lawyered up at his own press conference. He barely said anything beyond attacking Drury and Rauner. That’s not going to satisfy the media.

  23. - Generation X - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:44 pm:

    Wier Vaught and the Speaker came off exactly as Hampton described in that press conference.
    Dismissive imo. It feels like they decided to wait this out and see if Hampton would go away. When she didn’t they had to move on Quinn

  24. - Generation X - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    If I was a female working under the Madigan umbrella in any way, that press conference didn’t exactly give me warm fuzzies about reporting abuse. Rather than taking an emphatic no tolerance once a complaint is verified stance, it came off as “down annoy the Speaker with trivial matters.” Very underwhelming for someone of his importance at Statehouse

  25. - anonald duck - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    A lot of people are missing the bigger problem here. There WAS no “investigation.” Wier Vaught met Hampton once in a coffee shop to discuss the allegations and nothing happened. Madigan’s team caught wind over the weekend that she was going to go public and they fired Kevin Quinn.

  26. - Responsa - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    Everybody’s been talking about name recognition possibly favoring our ex-governor in the AG race. I can’t wait for Pat’s campaign commercial that says, “It’s not me. It’s two other guys named Quinn”. What bad timing for PQ to have the Quinn name sullied so publicly.

  27. - Uncle Ernie - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    HWV is a very nice young lady, I have known for years, but all those years she was working for MJM, that does put one in a unusual position. She is a good person, don’t blame her for what MJM does.

  28. - Interested observer - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    ===Is retaining outside counsel common?===
    Especially in a political organization. As bad as this is who would want “outside” consul looking into your organization? God only knows what comes out of that. That doesn’t mitigate the seriousness of this but an outside consul could open other rabbit holes.
    I’m not sure about the timing but maybe the Trib moved up their story once Madigan reacted? Probably not but lots of speculation.

  29. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    ===I’m not sure about the timing===

    Word was out by Saturday at the latest. I didn’t know about it until Monday, but others say they did.

  30. - YouToo? - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    “It’s not me. It’s two other guys named Quinn”. What bad timing for PQ to have the Quinn name sullied so publicly.”

    You never know, PQ may end up on the recieving end of #metoo by then… He wasn’t the all innocent dufus he purported to be.

  31. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    After seeing how outside law firms have handled institutional scandals like the ones at Baylor and Michigan State, I am skeptical that outside law firms automatically lead to better fairer investigative outcomes. Wish I knew what the solution was other than creeps stopping being creeps.

  32. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    Just finished watching the press conference. Underwhelmed by the response. This story isn’t going away but will explode as the rest of the media catches up to the Chicago Tribune.

    The only real response Speaker Madigan had to a question was to blame Rauner and Drury in a rambling fashion that was difficult to hear due to microphone placement. I think Madigan was referring to the Kennedy “step down from party chairmanship temporarily” call but got his signals crossed.

  33. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    What’s missing is a discussion of the core reason why Ms. Hampton came forward. Piecing things together from media reports, it looks like this: Kevin Quinn harasses and won’t stop until Hampton goes to Marty Quinn. Hampton plays nice and asks Marty to make it stop (which he does) and does not go further with the complaint because she does not want to be tarnished. Hampton goes about her business (away from Kevin Quinn), but when she tries to get back on a campaign discovers that she is persona non grata. Hampton discovers that even though she played nice, others in the Dem organization did not. Hampton contacts Madigan to let him know what really happened in the hopes that she will be given a clean bill and allowed back in. Madigan sends Vaughn, who is dismissive, and nothing happens (Kevin keeps his job and Hampton is still kept out). Hampton decides to go public because she’s got nothing left to lose.

    This appears to be a case of the insiders tarnishing the reputation of a staffer who was harassed and then tried to be a team player by not outing an Alderman’s brother. She played nice; they didn’t respect her. Now, they are paying the price.

  34. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 3:49 pm:

    That MJM media availability was abysmal. The two biggest takeaways for me… MJM pointing at HWV every time he was asked a question (I get legally, why, but from a PR standpoint it looks terrible. Why even be there?) and him laughing at the end. Not good.

  35. - Stallion - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    I understand that Ms. Hampton may feel this way, however I also understand that the texts ceased after the incident was addressed and it was Ms Hamptons’ request that KQ not be fired.

    On a side note, he asked a woman out she said No, he persisted and was wrong for doing so, morally. However is there a law against asking a woman out more than once or complimenting her (Smoking Hot, Beautiful, and Intelligent)? I truly don’t believe KQ meant to be a harasser. This is an incident that has more to it than KQ being a harasser. Im not being insensitive to Ms Hamptons’ feelings, I hope she gets the justice she seems to be seeking all of a sudden.

  36. - MaryLouise - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    Does anyone know how to use the block calls ap on their phones? You cannot text me if I block you out.

  37. - Too Much to Handle - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 4:51 pm:

    Didn’t Hampton work for Marie Newman, who is running against Dan Lipinski?

  38. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 4:52 pm:

    ==I understand that Ms. Hampton may feel this way, however I also understand that the texts ceased after the incident was addressed and it was Ms Hamptons’ request that KQ not be fired.==

    True, but it appears that Ms.Hampton was then blocked from working on future campaigns. She played nice, others did not.

    ==However is there a law against asking a woman out more than once or complimenting her (Smoking Hot, Beautiful, and Intelligent)? I truly don’t believe KQ meant to be a harasser.==

    If he continues after being asked to stop, it’s harassment. If he is her supervisor, it’s harassment. It doesn’t matter if he “meant to be a harasser;” this is not even a grey area. It’s textbook harassment.

  39. - Matt Vernau - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 4:59 pm:

    to Pot and 3:29 Part of this mess seems to be procedural. Could Ms. Hampton have sent copies of those emails to Madigan’s office at a far earlier date and ended this all sooner. Or would she still have been risking too much of her own? Where and when should she have reported?

  40. - Stallion@Potcallingkettle - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 5:03 pm:

    We don’t know that she was blocked from working other campaigns, she resigned from the organization in April 2017 and 7 months latter Nov 2017 she wrote MJM a letter probably trying to come back into the organization and was refused because of her first resignation. Then these harassment complaints went to the Tribune, a major public news organization.

    She resigned, she was refused a second chance with the organization, then went to the media with her experience. (The issue was addressed by MQ and texts ceased)

  41. - Matt Vernau - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 5:13 pm:

    Thank you that helps.

  42. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 5:16 pm:

    –Everybody’s been talking about name recognition possibly favoring our ex-governor in the AG race. I can’t wait for Pat’s campaign commercial that says, “It’s not me. –

    By “everybody,” I assume you mean just you.

    Can’t wait, huh? Like, so excited you “can’t wait?”

    Your interest in the actual issue at hand is underwhelming, to say the least.

  43. - PE - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 5:56 pm:

    This is why I never wanted to work for MJM or his org. You are subject to their whims and their rules. It’s a clique and this young woman stoodup for herself and like a bunch of mean girls they isolated her. Think of how much easier and more efficient it would have been to make her happy?? Throw some work her way, she obviously knew what she was doing. But they just couldn’t help themselves.

  44. - Shytown - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 6:06 pm:

    Stallion…everything you have posted here is in part what’s wrong with the system and why sexual harassment persists, not to mention your comments are filled with inaccuracies. No more excuses for this behavior for those who enable it.

  45. - Stallion@shytown - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 6:28 pm:

    I want to be perfectly clear, I do not condone KQ behavior or anyone who conducts themselves unprofessionally. Let me ask you what are my inaccuracies? Enlighten me, please

  46. - TKMH - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 6:29 pm:

    ==However is there a law against asking a woman out more than once or complimenting her (Smoking Hot, Beautiful, and Intelligent)? I truly don’t believe KQ meant to be a harasser. This is an incident that has more to it than KQ being a harasser. Im not being insensitive to Ms Hamptons’ feelings, I hope she gets the justice she seems to be seeking all of a sudden.==

    Repeatedly making sexually charged “compliments” to a subordinate who is uncomfortable with the tenor of the comments is textbook sexual harassment. There is a law for it, too — the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

  47. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 6:32 pm:

    ==However is there a law against asking a woman out more than once or complimenting her (Smoking Hot, Beautiful, and Intelligent)? I truly don’t believe KQ meant to be a harasser. This is an incident that has more to it than KQ being a harasser. Im not being insensitive to Ms Hamptons’ feelings, I hope she gets the justice she seems to be seeking all of a sudden.==

    Dude, he was her boss. She told him to stop many times. This ain’t rocket science.

  48. - Stallion@TKMH - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 7:01 pm:

    What is the definition of a “sexually charged compliment”? Again, Im not condoning KQ behavior here, I just believe that KQ really wasn’t trying to be a sexual predator as the media is making him out to be. I believe he was over persistent and he corrected his behavior when it was reported to MQ. Everyone who has made a mistake at work should be fired then? KQ isn’t a sexual predator, he was an over aggressive individual who made a poor decision and corrected his behavior when he was reprimanded.

    Ms.Hampton has every right to feel uncomfortable about KQ behavior, I am just curious what made her change her mind that all of a sudden she wanted KQ fired?

  49. - TaylorvilleTornado - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 7:02 pm:

    I doubt Rauner tries to pile on too much.

    Madigan stepping down kills all of Rauner’s talking point.

  50. - Stallion@wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 7:11 pm:

    I agree, she did tell him to stop, and he should have. His behavior was very unprofessional. She also told MQ that she didn’t want KQ fired and felt that it could be handled internally. Why did she really resign? Why seek out the news media for a woman that really didn’t want anyone to know about this, after all she “cared deeply for everyone involved”? Just some questions I would like to have a better understanding of.

  51. - Wow - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 8:18 pm:

    Pretty shocked to learn that Marty Quinn is somehow not the dumbest person in his family.

  52. - Amalia - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 8:25 pm:

    the situation was bad enough. but the Madigan response….his quiet and handing it over to the incompetent lawyer….and the comments from the clearly Madigan world apologists on this thread are moving me right over to the resign column.

  53. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Feb 13, 18 @ 8:28 pm:

    There seems to be some mystery around Aliana’s search for work and request for help from Alderman Quinn.

    It sounds like she wanted to go to work on some statewide campaign and was asking Quinn for help, but Quinn said he could not help. And she did not believe him.

    If she thought she was engaging in some sort of quid pro quo — “I won’t get your brother in trouble, if you will get me a job elsewhere” — that is deeply troubling.

    First, sexual harrassment allegations are not a bargaining chip. If she thought Kevin Quinn should have been fired or removed from his supervisory role as part of the remediation for how she was mistreated, she should have said so at the time.

    Secondly, that kind of quid pro quo is exactly what takes a political scandal and turns it into a FBI investigation. If you think Scott Fornek is hyper-ventilating now, imagine his over-reaction if Alderman Quinn HAD helped Alaina get a job in exchange for not pursuing harsher charges against his brother. You don’t think the US Attorney’s office would be investigating? I do.

    I can understand if Alaina feels like Marty Quinn ought to have helped her more after she left. I hope she can understand why he couldn’t help her at all. He is the second-to-last person she should have called for help finding a job.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* By taking a knee, NFL players stand up for......
* 'It Brings Us All to the Same Table......
* Springfield prosecutor nominated for US at......

* "Everyone's a Designer/Everyone's Design" offers a peek into the heart of some fascinating Chicago homes
* Crashing the boys’ club: independent women directors in the 60s and 70s
* Dabrowski: It’s the pension promises, stupid!
* Chicago-based Ozinga pours solid foundation for Wisconsin's Foxconn
* Gov launches "Fight for What's Right" Tour
* Illinois one of nation's least-friendly states to small businesses
* Libertarianism vs. Conservatism [video]
* Illinois Political Action Conference scheduled for September 14 & 15th in Orland Park
* From July 11 through mid-August I’ve been traveling on family medical issues — Next post: August 22, 2018
* The [Tuesday] Papers

* Illinois 89 bridge demolition set for August 22
* 2018 Will County Tentative Multiplier Announced
* Governor Rauner signs bills to improve hunting safety, increase penalties for illegal hunting

* Life is Strange 2 stars two brothers after a ‘tragic event’
* Deal: Get a T-Mobile Galaxy S8 64GB for just $350 (was $600)
* Amazon is ending its 20 percent Prime discount on video game preorders
* NVIDIA announces new GeForce RTX series of graphics cards with real time ray tracing
* How to Browse the Internet on Apple Watch Through watchOS 5's WebKit Integration
* Microsoft to rev its 'Microsoft 365' marketing machine with a new roadmap
* Apple’s MacBook Air successor will reportedly have slim bezels and high-res Retina display

* White Sox Weekly Minor League Update: Week 20
* White Sox content to keep Jimenez at Triple-A
* Hahn thrilled to watch Kopech in Majors
* 30 guys we want to see win it all
* Why I was broke as a minor league baseball player
* White Sox Minor League Update: August 19, 2018
* Michael Kopech Day: Reax

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