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Sherri Garrett speaks out about McQueary column

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sherri Garrett, you will recall, accused Tim Mapes last year of alleged sexual harassment and that led to his immediate ouster as House Speaker Michael Madigan’s chief of staff. Garrett approached Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) with her story after Cassidy had spoken out about Mapes.

Garrett sent this to Rep. Cassidy last night and Cassidy forwarded it to me with permission…

Kristen McQueary’s column was upsetting for me as someone who came forward to try to stop my harassment. Making the decision to speak out was incredibly difficult–but I just wanted the harassment to stop, and I felt I had no protection. I know how terrifying it is to decide to come forward, and I fear that columns like that of Ms. McQueary may have a chilling effect for those who are afraid that they won’t be believed, that their harasser or assaulter will be proclaimed to be deserving of redemption without having actually done anything to deserve said redemption.

This has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. The truth is, nearly a year and a half since coming forward, I am still not fine. Mr. Mapes’ abuse has left a lasting effect on my soul. An apology never came my way from Mr. Mapes or the Speaker.

I wish for complete recovery for myself. I also wish that the person who harassed me would realize his wrongs and account for them. I would then love to see him go forward in life and be a better person to everyone. I don’t believe that can be accomplished when you do not recognize your wrongs.

That so many people are spending so much time and energy worrying about the well-being of the perpetrators and if they are okay is confusing to me. I believe we should all have a chance to rebound–but you must be willing to do what is right to earn that rebound.

We discussed the column in question yesterday.

Garrett is right, by the way. John Anthony denied being a sexual harasser and disputed accounts of the allegations that led to his firing at IDOC, even though some of it was caught on videotape. He only admitted to unspecified “mistakes,” and offered no public apology. Mapes has flatly denied wrongdoing.


  1. - Amalia - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 9:27 am:

    Sherri, I wish you peace. And, thank you.

  2. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 9:35 am:

    Let’s get right to the point: Kristen McQueary ignored the true toll of Hurricane Katrina and used it as a cheap political metaphor. Then, instead of recognizing what she did was inhuman and offering a full apology, she defended herself as empathetic, woke and blamed her audience for “how that column was read.” Then she doubled down on her call for what she characterized as “revolutionary change.” Revolutions, as we know, have casualties.

    “That’s what was in my heart,” closed McQueary, urging us to ignore the actual words on the page and without ever asking for forgiveness.

    In that same vain, she wants us to look inside John Anthony’s heart through her eyes, ignoring the actual video and firsthand accounts of his assaults on women without ever asking for forgiveness.

    No. Absolutely not.

  3. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 9:42 am:

    I wonder how many possible subscriptions the Tribune leaves on the table due to their continued employment of Kristen McQueary. I know it’s not zero as every time I consider ponying up for a digital subscription to read a news article that intrigues me but is stuck behind their paywall it is Kristen and her fellow travelers in the opinion section that keep me from reaching for my credit card.

    I like the idea of supporting the reporters there who do good work but I can’t stomach the idea of rewarding the rancid bad faith and just simple idiocy that is promulgated by Kristen, John Kass, and their ilk.

    It’s not just her being tone deaf about hurricanes or sexual harassment, or that I have a different political point of view than her and the edit board.

    It’s that they cannot present that point of view with any consistent or coherent logic. It’s just all hackery all the time.

    Case in point: I saw the edit board just had an opinion that opposed Trump’s impeachment on the basis that it “overturns an election” and takes things out of voter’s hands. funny how this was not a concern when it came to blago’s impeachment.

  4. - Red Ranger - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    The McQueary column is bad on so many levels that have been discussed, but it also demonstrates a level of laziness and rank amateurism that is stunning for a top columnist in the largest paper in the Midwest. Does she not have any sources or connections in Springfield? It would take less that 15 mins of phone calls to Springfield people to determine that writing a piece that seeks to rehabilitate John Anthony is probably a bad idea. This column is further proof that the columnist that writes the most about state government in the Tribune has little knowledge of the topic she covers.

  5. - Sean - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    === I like the idea of supporting the reporters there who do good work but I can’t stomach the idea of rewarding the rancid bad faith and just simple idiocy that is promulgated by Kristen, John Kass, and their ilk. ===

    Agreed. I will never pay for a Trib sub as long as the editorial board looks anything like it currently does.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    === Does she not have any sources or connections in Springfield?===

    Probably another reason her …self-trolling… of a twitter handle of “Statehouse Chick”

    As far as a columnist goes, “Statehouse Chick” …was a fairly decent reporter. That was “yesterday”.

    It’s only me, but the direct mention of AM560 in her work discussing him, and “Statehouse Chick” being on the station with Proft, a few times, I can’t help but think something written as it was, how can this not be something for AM560 to feel ok.

  7. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    @Oswego Willy -

    It is conceivable that Proft was the helping hand that put John Anthony on the air and also pitched the story to McQueary. McQueary does not even hint who the “Samaritan” is, and that is prolly for a reason.

    “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” - Matt 6:3

  8. - ILLINI - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    hypocrisy is rife when rich miler questions peoples journalistic integrity… biased and personal much:)

  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    ===biased and personal===

    First, learn to spell my name. Second, what is biased about this post?

  10. - Red Ranger - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Illini, not sure if this is a question of integrity, its about judgment. If McQueary had any true connections to state government, she would have known that trying to rehabilitate John Anthony was a really bad idea and insulting to multiple women in and around state government. Instead she decided to shill for her radio buddy Dan Proft.

  11. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    I wish Ms. Garrett Peace. All of these stories and associated comment sections,here and everywhere, really do open up some rawness when you’re the victim of these flawed people. I barely know John Anthony, and always thought of him as an immature guy, fun-loving but carelessly not aware of the severity of his actions. Continued denials aren’t at all defensible. He’s still immature. His brand of fun is patently inappropriate. Grow up man.

    In the case of Mapes, he’s even worse. He knew exactly what he was doing and honed it into an art form. The guy just was addicted to the kind of behavior that doesn’t just creep someone out (a lot of someones) but haunts them for a long time. To read Ms. Garrett’s thoughts a full year later and see the agony she still feels is incredibly sad to me. I wish her a full recovery from this and remind her that the creep she dealt with is a monster and she slayed him. There is satisfaction in knowing that every time that evil person enters anyone’s presence, not a soul is thinking that he was smart or capable or hard-working; just that he’s an evil creep. Her testimony against him changed the world. That’s what I’d wish for her to think about instead of reliving his anguish. Peace Ms. Garrett.

  12. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    We should all be Thankful we have people like Sherrie
    Garrett in government.

    As to Rich Miler, as soon as I read that I had an image of a fellow walking his dog.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. - ILLINI - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:54 am:

    im just miffed you don’t post all entry’s… and im upset that this story continues on he has been extremely kind to my family and i, and i know hes a devoted loving father and husband.

    bullying is wrong and i know he probably feels shame… but using any term relating to sex is not right or fair

    sorry ill never comment again you can delete my posts now sorry your website is good your work is good my blood got hot for a min sorry

  14. - Sonny - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    Hurricane is such a shameless coward. She calls for accountability all the time but no one at Ma Tribune demands it from her and she hasn’t made a peep after demonstrating again a massive gap in good judgement.

  15. - Sonny - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    To Red Ranger’s point, she doesn’t even have the ability to write a story that is appropriate on this topic because she has no credibility and no one in their right mind would talk to her, so as a result of her diminished capabilities instead we get half baked garbage. It’s easy to be a right wing wack job because you don’t have to do the work.

  16. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    hisgirlfriday: you channel my thoughts. Paying for the Trib while it employs such intellectually dishonest hacks as columnists and has them on its ed board is just a non-starter for me.

    Also, when Alden gains control of the Trib, it’s not Katrina who will get the ax. Her know-nothingness costs very little compared to the expense of investigative journalism and shoe leather reporting. When it’s all said and done, it may well be Hurricaine is the last one left to turns out the lights.

  17. - Raymond Shuckles - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 11:53 am:


    The allegations against Mapes, substantiated as I recall by investigators, include not just bullying behavior but also making sexually suggestive comments to staff.

    To be fair, Mapes disputes those findings. And he was indeed one of the hardest working people in state government, should be credited with helping to enact some great state policies, and could be counted on to deal with allegations of harassment against and by his subordinates in a pretty laudatory way by most accounts. As you say he was extremely kind to your family and yours is surely not alone.

    But none of that excuses, justifies or changes what he did. Just as being the tender age of 37 does not excuse John Anthony.

  18. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    And Illini — Rich deletes me all the time. You’re in excellent company.

  19. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 12:29 pm:

    McQueary obliterated her own cause, attacking “woke” people and Democratic women, by glorifying a sexual harasser and turning him into the persevering victim. She really stepped in it.

  20. - Anonanonsir - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    ==He knew exactly what he was doing and honed it into an art form.==
    Fair enough, though the behavior was condoned.
    One rep made a statement regarding this when the opportunity arose.
    You might say that the Tier 2 pension track is liberating.

    Journalism is increasingly challenging. One way to achieve some financial success — assuming you aren’t fortunate enough to be a TV regular in the Chicago market — is to take Dylan’s advice, and serve somebody. As DCC mentioned, maybe it’s our expectations of McQueary that need adjustment.

  21. - I Love Lamp - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    I have heard it suggested only partly in jest by a victim of a bad boss that one way to address the city and state pension shortfall would be to terminate benefits for all annuitants/beneficiaries who have credible allegations of harrassment or hostile workplace made against them.

  22. - Sayitaintso - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    Technically, Rich does not ‘delete’ my stuff. He employs good sense, and decides to pass on it before anyone is exposed to it. I think his ‘deletions’ are most often a gift to the sender.

  23. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    ===His brand of fun===

    Groping women isn’t a brand of fun. It’s assault.

    Ms. Garrett is very brave, and Mapes is totally classless. I am no expert on all the facts of what happened, but he obviously made a subordinate feel very uncomfortable, and now can’t even admit he was wrong. Totally classless.

    I wouldn’t compare the two though.

  24. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 1:47 pm:

    Sayitaintso — when Rich deletes my comments, it’s clear he’s just jealous of my brilliance. That’s why my very best comments never appear. They would set too high a standard for the rest of y’all.

    [Comment struck-through by Rich Miller. Heh.]

  25. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    Illini - See what I mean? See what I mean?

  26. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    And you wonder why folks are smitten? lol

  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    === And you wonder why folks are smitten? lol===



  28. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    Illini - also get a lot of comments deleted (usually for not being Illinois-centric enough). This is Rich’s house, he gets to make the rules.

  29. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    Guy — I don’t wonder. I KNOW why. :)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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