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*** UPDATED x1 *** Hickey report released

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

* From the House Democrats…

Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, in collaboration with an advisory group of women members of the House Democratic Caucus, today released – in full – an unredacted report prepared by Maggie Hickey, a former federal prosecutor and Inspector General for Governor Rauner, detailing the findings of her independent review of the workplace culture within the Office of the Speaker and providing insight into the environment in the Capitol. In 2018, Speaker Madigan and an advisory group comprised of female members requested Hickey conduct a thorough review of prior allegations of harassment and make recommendations for improvements.

“I welcomed this independent review to better understand the workplace culture within the Office of the Speaker and to help improve the environment in the Capitol,” Madigan said. “I thank Ms. Hickey for her professionalism and commitment to this process, as well as the staff, House members, lobbyists, and others who were interviewed as part of this report.”

As part of her review, Hickey examined the operations of the Office of the Speaker, including the Office of the Clerk, and interviewed more than 100 current and former staff members, as well as members of the General Assembly and lobbyists. Those interviewed described interactions with co-workers and other individuals who are not employed by the Office, including those employed by other caucuses or elected officials, lobbyists, and members of the general public.

“I take responsibility for not doing enough previously to prevent issues in my office, and continue to believe that we, collectively, need to do more in the Capitol to improve our workplace culture and protect the women and men who work here who want to make a difference in the world,” Madigan said. “While the Office of the Speaker has taken many steps to improve and will work to adopt Ms. Hickey’s recommendations, Ms. Hickey’s report makes clear there is more to be done. As part of my full commitment to change the culture, I am ready to work with the other legislative caucuses to ensure that everyone has a safe workplace.”

Madigan said that issues with harassment in the workplace go beyond the Capitol. “This is an issue that affects all workplaces and individuals from all walks of life. We must vigilantly work to eliminate employment-related discrimination and harassment, and address workplace equality not only in the Capitol, but across Illinois.”

The members of the advisory group involved with Hickey’s selection issued a statement thanking those who participated in the review and reaffirming their commitment to change the culture. The advisory group includes Representatives Kelly Burke, Deb Conroy, Jehan Gordon-Booth, Lisa Hernandez, Camille Lilly, Theresa Mah, Natalie Manley, Ann Williams, and Kathleen Willis. Former Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin was involved during her tenure. The advisory group will continue working with the Office of the Speaker on implementation of further reforms.

“We are grateful for those who have shared their own personal and often difficult experiences – both publicly and privately – in an effort to bring positive change to the Capitol work environment,” said Representative Ann Williams, on behalf of the group. “Each allegation made and every story told has contributed to the larger conversation, and underscores our commitment to rebuild our workplace on a foundation of respect for each and every individual. Though these findings were often difficult to read, the report further solidified our commitment to provide a professional and respectful workplace environment not just in our own House, but throughout the Capitol. As members of the House Democratic Caucus, we take responsibility, individually and collectively, to right these wrongs and ensure a safe, healthy, and respectful workplace for all who work there.”

Using criteria established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Hickey found the Capitol presents many challenges and risk factors that make harassment more likely to occur, and the report details the various challenges that employees and employers face in an environment such as the Capitol atmosphere. To combat this, Hickey recommends the Office of the Speaker should consider unique and innovative ways to address these challenges and risk factors, particularly by partnering with the other legislative caucuses, as well as other entities that interact with legislative staff. The report makes several recommendations for improvement, particularly given the unique challenges of employing a significant number of people who are young or new to the workforce.

“I commit to all of our staff, particularly those who are new to the workforce, that we will provide you with a supportive atmosphere that encourages professional growth and development, and that provides you with the necessary tools to thrive in our unique environment,” said Madigan in response to Hickey’s recommendations. “I want the Office to be a place where everyone is comfortable to bring forth allegations, knowing that they will be treated fairly and with compassion.”

In her report, Hickey found the Office of the Speaker has taken significant actions to address concerns and challenges faced by staff, and staff confirmed the environment has improved since the beginning of the #MeToo movement. Her report details actions taken by the Office of the Speaker and rank-and-file members (see pages 119-121 of the Hickey Report). A few of the key actions taken to change the environment for staff include:

    Created a Human Resources Unit and hired an Equal Employment Opportunity Officer;
    Improved the process for responding to and investigating allegations of discrimination or harassment, as well as general workplace complaints;
    Conduct frequent trainings customized to addressing the unique challenges of the legislative environment (in additional to what is required by law);
    Hold specialized training for supervisors, directors, and human resources staff;
    Convene regular meetings with supervisors and staff, both on a one-on-one basis and in group settings;
    Implemented numerous staffing changes and implemented an “open door policy” for the Chief of Staff, Human Resources personnel, and all directors;
    Revised personnel policies, with continuous staff contact so all staff know the rules and their rights; and
    Implemented additional skills training for staff to help employees become more confident in their skills and grow their career opportunities.

The Office intends to build upon the current momentum of these improvements by planning further actions, consistent with Hickey’s recommendations. For example, the Office plans to expand the Human Resources operation related to various training efforts, recruitment and onboarding processes, and general personnel management activities.

This post will be updated as I go through everything. Meanwhile, here are some documents to peruse…

* Advisory Group Statement

* Full report

…Adding… Bullying is a big problem over there

The current and former workers in the Speaker’s Office that we interviewed, however, gave varying feedback regarding inappropriate sexual conduct in the Speaker’s Office. Female workers, for example, were more likely to describe personal experiences hearing inappropriate sexual comments. More workers, however, said that they had witnessed or personally experienced what they considered to be bullying. In fact, most workers across the Speaker’s Office and across genders and positions said that they were more concerned with bullying than with inappropriate sexual conduct.

What is more, the vast majority said that they would not have reported miscon- duct under the previous Chief of Staff Timothy Mapes, for various reasons detailed in this report. In addition to serving as Chief of Staff since 1992, Mr. Mapes was also the Clerk of the House since 2011 and the Executive Director of the Demo- cratic Party of Illinois since 1998. For this reason, workers were concerned that Mr. Mapes had discretion to affect their positions, opportunities, and benefits. In some cases, people believed that they were more replaceable than the subjects of their potential complaints. People were also concerned that making complaints would reflect negatively on them. Even though we identified only a few instances when the Speaker’s Office terminated a worker’s employment, workers commonly perceived that they could lose their jobs at any time and for any or no reason.

In fact, most of the people interviewed—regardless of their views of Mr. Mapes— agreed that Mr. Mapes commonly threatened people’s jobs or reminded them that they were dispensable. People believed that Mr. Mapes attempted to motivate workers through fear and that a few other supervisors throughout the years emu- lated this practice. Some people also raised the additional concern that, given Mr. Mapes’s political ties, he could make or break their careers outside of the Speaker’s Office as well.

* And yet…

On May 21, 2018, Representative Kelly Cassidy spoke to the media regarding allegations of retaliation against her by then-Chief of Staff and Clerk of the House Timothy Mapes, Representative Robert Rita, and Speaker Michael Madigan. Specifically, Representative Cassidy alleged that the following occurred in response to her public criticisms of how the Speaker’s Office handled sexual harassment claims:

    ● Mr. Mapes attempted to intimidate Representative Cassidy by contacting her outside employer and asking if she still worked there;
    ● Representative Rita sponsored a bill that was supported by Representative Cassidy’s outside employer, and he promoted the fact that Representative Cassidy did not support the bill with the intent to affect her outside employment; and
    ● Speaker Madigan rejected a meeting with Representative Cassidy and later appeared to threaten her committee positions.

Notably, during her interview, Representative Cassidy did not allege that Mr. Mapes, Representative Rita, and Speaker Madigan conspired to retaliate against her. Instead, Representative Cassidy alleged that the culture is one in which every- one independently knows to retaliate against anyone for publicly criticizing Speaker Madigan.

As a representative, Representative Cassidy did not have the same protections against retaliation as an employee would have. Still, even if she did have these protections, we do not find sufficient evidence to conclude that there was an effort—coordinated or otherwise—to punish or silence Representative Cassidy.

The evidence against Mapes was right in front of their eyes and others backed her up…

We heard from many representatives that they would have also interpreted Mr. Mapes’s phone call to be a threat or, at least, to be unusual and warranting an explanation. Likewise, we heard from many people who worked closely with Mr. Mapes who would consider that type of threatening behavior to be in line with his typical management style.

* More…

At a press conference in Chicago, on June 6, 2018, Account Technician Sherri Gar- rett made several allegations against Timothy Mapes, who was the Chief of Staff for the Speaker’s Office, Clerk of the House, and Executive Director of the Demo- cratic Party of Illinois (DPI):

    Over the course of the last several years, I have endured and have personally witnessed bullying and repeated harassment that was often sexual and sexist in nature in my workplace. . . .
    Tim Mapes, Chief of Staff to Speaker Madigan, has made repeated inappropriate comments to me and around me, both in the office and on the House floor. . . .
    I am speaking out because victims of harassment like me, men and women alike, just want to go to work, we want to do our jobs with dignity, and we want to go home at the end of our day, but instead, we have a culture of sexism, harassment, and bullying that creates an incredibly difficult work environment.

The same day, Speaker Michael Madigan announced that, at his direction, Mr. Mapes had resigned from all of his positions.

Based on our investigation, we conclude that Mr. Mapes violated the Speaker’s Office’s Personnel Rules and Regulations with his treatment of Ms. Garrett. While we could not substantiate each one of Ms. Garrett’s interpretations of events, we found Ms. Garrett to be credible. We found that Mr. Mapes was not “courteous and efficient” with Ms. Garrett, among other workers. Most notably, Mr. Mapes discouraged Ms. Garrett from coming forward with a concern about potential sex- ual harassment by insinuating that Ms. Garrett was raising the issue only because she was jealous of the attention.

* Pretty good summation…

Most people believed that Mr. Mapes was efficient at getting things done. This appearance of efficiency was, at least in part, a product of the fear he engendered. But this fear was ultimately inefficient. Workers described that they were unable to raise concerns under Mr. Mapes’s leadership. Unless workers felt comfortable talking to Mr. Mapes directly, they would not raise concerns. Many workers said that there was no point in raising concerns to their supervisors, because they be- lieved that their supervisors had no authority and would be required to elevate issues to Mr. Mapes. Thus, many people believed that they could neither express concerns to Mr. Mapes directly nor raise concerns with their supervisors because they believed that Mr. Mapes would ultimately not take those concerns seriously.

* Ugh…

Ms. Garrett alleged that, in the late evening near the end of session in spring 2013, then-Representative Kenneth Dunkin made an unwanted sexual comment to Ms. Garrett and another female worker on the House Floor. Specifically, Ms. Garrett alleged that Representative Dunkin told Ms. Garrett and the other woman some- thing like: “I want to take you both home and see which one of you would be the naughtiest.” Ms. Garrett was very upset, but was very busy and continued work- ing. Later that night, Ms. Garrett told then-Reading Clerk John Hollman about the incident to voice her frustration with Representative Dunkin and to say that she would not let it happen again.

*** UPDATE *** Rep. Kelly Cassidy…

As stated in the report, my main goal was to make the negative actions towards me stop, and they did. Others now feel safer coming forward to share their story without fear of retaliation. I am pleased overall and particularly that the Speakers’ office chose to share the full report with the public. It is the best path forward.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

32 Comments
  1. - read first - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    “Likewise, many people expressed that their major workplace issues involved interacting not with workers in the Speaker’s Office but with angry or otherwise intimidating members of the public, either through correspondence, phone calls, meetings, or during campaigns while on leave. Many people described specific accounts of incidents with members of the public, and some of these incidents included vulgar comments or even threats regarding the workers’ gender or race.” page 97

    This is why I think all legislative staff deserve praise and higher salaries for what they do. It’s about more than the capitol.


  2. - Smalls - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    It is an “independent” investigation, yet it is released by the Speaker’s office. Did you ever hear of the appearance of a conflict of interest.


  3. - read first - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    Uh, Smalls, the Office of the Speaker hired her to do it and paid for it. Who do you think should release it? Leader Durkin? Bruce Rauner?


  4. - Interested - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    Can’t find the link to the full report.


  5. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    @Interested, you need to go to the last of the ‘view full page’ parts and then you can download it from there via an incon on the bottom.

    What became clear is that I didn’t do enough, and that we, collectively, have failed in the Capitol to ensure everyone can reliably,
    confidentially and safely report harassment. I thought the pathways
    were there, but they weren’t

    And he shall face no consiquences for that. None.


  6. - Norseman - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

    This is a continuing challenge when striving for “good” government. Actions are taken and new norms are established to constrain the corruption. The report notes the reaction to the “corruption” identified here. Things improve until political leaders seek to enhance their power through the demolition of these safeguards and norms - as we are now seeing with Trump and the GOP.

    The fight continues and we must be vigilant to ensure that government is functioning for the benefit of the people.


  7. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    “agreed that Mr. Mapes commonly threatened people’s jobs or reminded them that they were dispensable. People believed that Mr. Mapes attempted to motivate workers through fear and that a few other supervisors throughout the years emu- lated this practice. Some people also raised the additional concern that, given Mr. Mapes’s political ties, he could make or break their careers outside of the Speaker’s Office as well.”

    Yikes. Keeping this kind of person in a position of power, along with constantly expanding his role, is unconscionable. I can’t even imagine how it would feel to work in that kind of environment.


  8. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    Chief of Staff…Clerk of the House…Party Executive Director…This power expansion should have been a red flag in itself.


  9. - Anon-I-Guess - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    Mr. Mapes commonly threatened people’s jobs or reminded them that they were dispensable

    From McDonalds to the White House I don’t know of any management style that doesn’t include at least some element of this sentence. The pearl clutching over this whole situation still amazes me.


  10. - west wing - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    I worked under Tim Mapes and those types of stories ring true to me. Too much power corrupts. He led by fear and intimidation. There were a lot of talented staffers under him, but ultimately many looked for the exit door.


  11. - Quibbler - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:16 am:

    Cassidy becoming Speaker would be a nice first step towards rectifying a lot of this nonsense.


  12. - Klaus VonBulow - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    I’m conflicted on how the speaker or leadership is expected to control behavior of an elected official not in leadership.

    Staff is entirely different.


  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    === is expected to control behavior of an elected official not in leadership===

    Internal counseling.


  14. - Pick a Name - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    It only took a few comments for the first Trump reference.

    Sigh.


  15. - Shytown - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    So it’s all Tim Mapes’ fault? OK. Problem solved.


  16. - Flimsy - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    The speaker and representatives of the speaker routinely bully agency directors and employees. It is unfortunate that issue was not reviewed.


  17. - Ferris - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    Anyone know when the House Republicans, Senate Democrats, or Senate Republicans will be releasing their reports?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


  18. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    This is an “eternal” problem. What would a 1995 report, Lee Daniels commissioned, had revealed about Michael Tristano?


  19. - Been There - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===Cassidy becoming Speaker would be a nice first step towards rectifying a lot of this nonsense.===
    Well she would need a majority of the chamber to do that. Good luck with that.


  20. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==Cassidy becoming Speaker would be a nice first step ==

    Or anyone other than Madigan, really. I’d hoped that JB would put his weight behind (no pun intended) pushing Madigan out the door and backing others as speaker and dem chairman. He’s got the influence and the money to do it, but sadly it’s looking like he doesn’t have the juevos


  21. - Chump - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    I wonder what a report commissioned by Jim Durkin would reveal about Jim Durkin. Those crickets are awfully loud…


  22. - yinn - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    ==This is an “eternal” problem.==

    No, it’s not. I worked two blissful decades for companies that embraced diversity of workforce and systematically put in structures to protect and strengthen their human resources.

    Now I’m working in a small city government where the “old boys club” still rules, and they’re tryna squish me like a bug.

    But I digress.

    There are two main types of leadership styles. One is leadership via mutual respect, teamwork, responsiveness, and modeling good behavior. The other is leadership by bullying, bad faith, diry tricks, and brute force.

    The costs of the latter type of leadership are often profound.


  23. - Flat Bed Ford - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    Madigan being a bully equals water being wet.

    If you’ve ever worked in a different statehouse you would see how Illinois really is a the poster child on how not to run the legislative process. That disfunction starts with the Speaker.


  24. - Required reading - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    == Cassidy becoming Speaker would be a nice first step ==

    The report doesn’t exactly bathe her in glory either. Cassidy has had a couple of tough weeks. But I’d take her over Madigan any day.


  25. - SpfdNewb - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 12:53 pm:

    -If you’ve ever worked in a different statehouse you would see how Illinois really is a the poster child on how not to run the legislative process.-

    I have, and it is no different tbh. But then again, the state house I worked in previously had a speaker indicted on federal charges. So if what you are telling me that powerful people are corrupt/bullies, it is the same if not worse outside of Illinois as it is here.


  26. - Been There - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    ===Or anyone other than Madigan, really. I’d hoped that JB would put his weight behind (no pun intended) pushing Madigan out the door and backing others as speaker and dem chairman. He’s got the influence and the money to do it, but sadly it’s looking like he doesn’t have the juevos ===
    You must not have read yesterdays CapFax story about Mike Carrigan leaving the AFL-CIO and how they ended up endorsing Pritzker.


  27. - The Captain - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    Noted.


  28. - Amalia - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    where is Mapes now? and for those of us who don’t know, how did he get to the heights (or one could say the depths) of his power with Madigan? there was always a chill around him. I truly wonder who actually liked the guy. But, no, the problems did not only stem from one person, or one operation. spend enough time around any legislative office or campaign office and there’s an astounding amount of misogyny and bullying. much of it is positioning, and fighting for who wins, but it’s all horrible. I have too many stories over the years and looking back I should simply have slugged people.


  29. - Should have could have - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    She should have interviewed every female staff member over the past decade or so. It can’t be that many right? It would be more thorough given the fact employees left without saying anything “formal” because afraid of retaliation. Don’t those voices matter?


  30. - DER - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    So far it seems as if the report is being treated as serious and credible — nobody has argued the contrary. Is that in fact what people think? That was my impression, and it does say something when nobody attacks the messenger.


  31. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    ==You must not have read yesterdays CapFax story ==

    Maybe you get the extra-special stories, then, because nothing in the one that I read details any reason for Pritzker not to give Madigan a shove out the door. It’s not like Carrigan wouldn’t have come around to supporting JB eventually. JB doesn’t owe Madigan anything, other than a reminder that long he’s passed his sell-by date and is doing more harm than good for IL dems by hanging on when nobody wants him or needs him anymore


  32. - Powdered Whig - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 4:27 pm:

    === Maybe you get the extra-special stories, then, because nothing in the one that I read details any reason for Pritzker not to give Madigan a shove out the door. It’s not like Carrigan wouldn’t have come around to supporting JB eventually. JB doesn’t owe Madigan anything, other than a reminder that long he’s passed his sell-by date and is doing more harm than good for IL dems by hanging on when nobody wants him or needs him anymore ===

    Your posts today make clear two things:

    1. You are a Madigan hater; and

    2. You don’t know what you are talking about.


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