* It’s not that I totally disagree with everything in this Tribune editorial…
The eruption of the #MeToo movement and companion allegations of sexual harassment in the Illinois Capitol provoked a novel idea: Maybe official Springfield should think about policing legislative misconduct.
In subsequent fits and starts, House Speaker Michael Madigan has acknowledged misbehavior in his statehouse and political realms, and has vowed to fix a sorry culture of harassment and bullying. Essentially: You can trust me. […]
Madigan responded to Hickey’s report with more platitudes: He takes responsibility for not doing enough, he’s already taken steps to improve the culture, he’s “ready to work with the other legislative caucuses to ensure that everyone has a safe workplace.”
Who knows, maybe more attempts at damage control will placate members of Madigan’s caucus, who’ll have to own Hickey’s findings throughout the 2020 campaign cycle.
Madigan’s a big boy. He should take his medicine.
But I wonder why no other legislative leader has publicly launched his own probe into any potential problems in their respective shops. Same goes for the Illinois Republican Party. Where are their admissions of shortcomings? Where are their promises to do better?
These were hardly isolated incidents.
* March, 2018: Legislative Leaders Say They Won’t Join Madigan in Releasing List of Misconduct Allegations
…Adding… From Leader Durkin’s spokesperson Eleni Demertzis…
When the #MeToo movement unraveled under the dome, Leader Jim Durkin proactively brought in an outside firm to review, assess and evaluate our office procedures, protocols and work environment. Several employees were randomly selected to be interviewed from offices in Springfield and Chicago, and the entirety of the review lasted approximately two months.
The firm, Alvarez and Marsal, ultimately expanded the harassment section of the House Republican Staff Personnel Rules and Regulations Handbook to include a more comprehensive document for employees to turn to if they are subject to harassment. We have a zero tolerance policy of harassment of any kind.
Leader Durkin also introduced a bill to create the Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Helpline to give people across Illinois more resources to get help. The helpline went live in June 2018 and the number is 877-236-7703.
…Adding… Rep. McSweeney begs to differ…