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Hickey wants Madigan to be more available to employees

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

* From the Hickey report

The Speaker’s Office cannot address workers’ fear of retaliation by changing a policy. Trust must be earned, and for workers who have lost trust, it will be hard to regain. Fortunately, many of the people who expressed fear of retaliation said that the workplace was headed in the right direction. Many of the people who believed that Mr. Mapes would retaliate against them felt better with Ms. Basham as Chief of Staff. We recommend that the Speaker’s Office use the momentum it has created to continue building workers’ trust in its leadership.

Notably, most people did not believe that Speaker Madigan would retaliate against them. Instead, the fear was that Speaker Madigan did not know who they were and, thus, would not know to defend them if they were punished or terminated. Initially, we were concerned that people spoke positively about Speaker Madigan because he had authority and they feared retaliation. It became clear to us, however, that many people who work in the Speaker’s Office joined because of their respect and admiration for Speaker Madigan or the Illinois legislature overall. Moreover, many of the people we interviewed who no longer worked in the Speaker’s Office at the time of their interview—and therefore did not have the same reason for concern—expressed the same sentiment. It is not surprising then that most workers believed in and trusted the Speaker.

We believe that this trust in the Speaker is a unique asset for the Speaker’s Office, which can be used to address its unique challenges. Workers appeared to want to be seen and valued by Speaker Madigan. This was evidenced by the overall positive feedback we heard regarding the Speaker’s listening sessions, which was the first time the Speaker made rounds to hear from all levels of the Speaker’s Office.


* Recommendations

Many of the challenges we learned about were caused by the fact that power was centralized in the former Chief of Staff, Clerk of the House, and Executive Director of DPI, Timothy Mapes. We recommend that Speaker Madigan not delegate such power in one person again. To some extent, the Chief of Staff position will always have great actual and perceived authority, and the person who fills that position will have a large influence on the entire office. The Speaker’s Office has already recognized the benefits of decentralizing this power by, for example, having a separate Chief of Staff and Clerk of the House. This separation should remain in place. […]

The Speaker must be more visible and accessible to all workers in the Speaker’s Office. To have a more visible and pronounced role, the Speaker can, for example, continue to hold listening sessions throughout the year, open to all workers. We also suggest that these listening sessions occur shortly after legislative sessions. Since legislative sessions are stressful for all workers, we believe this could go a long way to show appreciation for workers and identify issues and solutions while they are still fresh in people’s minds.

Likewise, having a separate ethics officer and general counsel may make people more comfortable approaching the ethics officer with questions or issues. As it is, workers may not feel as comfortable approaching the same person for confidential advice that is also the attorney for the Speaker. Separating these positions will also allow the ethics officer to act in a more ombudsman-like role.

The idea of separating the ethics office from the general counsel’s office is a good one.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Charlie Brown - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 3:11 pm:

    Atleast periodically attending your own staff meetings is also a good start.

    And one of the smart things Rauner did: make sure the final job offers and significant promotions come from your lips.

  2. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    ==many people who work in the Speaker’s Office joined because of their respect and admiration for Speaker Madigan==

    …Mrs. Hickey wrote, all the while trying to suppress the wry grin that came to her face at the thought of this absurd statement being believed by those reading her report….

  3. - All In - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    What a beautifully crafted way to essentially state what was the consensus from all corners years ago . . . . . .Tim Mapes is/was a bully and a jerk and somebody should yanked a knot in his tail a long time ago.

  4. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    “The Speaker must be more visible and accessible to all workers in the Speaker’s Office”

    Give him time he will figure it our with more experience.

  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    Lester, he’s not a cartoon character.

  6. - Lt. Guv - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    Lester, former staffer here. It’s true. She nailed why a lot of people are there.

  7. - Norseman - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    === … he’s not a cartoon character. ===

    The GOP has pushed every narrative and caricature they can to try and diminish Madigan. I don’t put him on a pedestal, for me that is reserved for folks like Phil Rock, nor do I approve of a lot of things he’s done. However, He is a very powerful and effective person who grew up in an older time and environment where hardball politics was considered to be kids play. Where Rock’s priority was do good first, party second. Madigan’s focus was party first. That rightfully frustrated many. His time is soon coming to an end. His final epitaph will only be known when the latest investigation is done. But that effectiveness served the Dems for many years. That is why a lot of folks admire him.

  8. - Leslie K - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    I agree with Lt. Guv @3:30. If you didn’t come in with any particular position (I didn’t), you are likely to come away with a ton of respect (I did).

  9. - Fax Machine - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 4:19 pm:

    No recommendation that he be reachable by e-mail?

  10. - Powdered Whig - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 4:30 pm:

    === Mrs. Hickey wrote, all the while trying to suppress the wry grin that came to her face at the thought of this absurd statement being believed by those reading her report….===

    Once again, I restate what I stated in another post. Your posts today tell me two things:

    1. You are a Madigan hater; and

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

  11. - Helmer - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 4:52 pm:

    Madigan has federal agents raiding the homes of his closest associates and perhaps listening to their phone calls. Even if Madigan were inclined to do it, his attorneys will counsel against giving any more face time to rank and file staff in the Speakers office. The problem will continue, the caucus will grow restless, Madigan will be forced out by this and fed investigation.

  12. - Analytics - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 5:28 pm:

    The report should have included a recommendation to keep Marty Quinn as far away as possible. Keep him at city hall with Burke.

  13. - Steve - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 5:48 pm:

    - Helmer -

    Mike Madigan has problems from this but… and this is a big but: it’s too early to say he’s not going to be Speaker. You’ll notice that Mike Madigan had little interaction with many people in this report. An extremely wise legal strategy in the long run.

  14. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Aug 20, 19 @ 7:05 pm:

    Mike Madigan never cared about any of this stuff until it became a liability to him. To think he will embrace changes unless there are repercussions is insanity.

    Where do the Members of his caucus stand? I’d like to see a reporter poll every one of them, but other than a couple nobody will ever dare to say anything negative about the great and powerful Oz.

  15. - 47th and Lake Park - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 7:52 am:

    This may be Madigan’s biggest challenge. Will he deal with this and go out on a high note, or will this be the thing that he is known for as he slinks away. Tough to change at any age. We’ll see.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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