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*** UPDATED x1 *** Madigan settles Hampton lawsuit for $275,000

Monday, Dec 2, 2019

* Tribune

A former campaign worker has reached a $275,000 settlement with four of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political committees over allegations of sexual harassment by one of his top lieutenants and allegations the speaker’s Democratic team had blackballed her, the Tribune has learned.

Alaina Hampton filed a federal lawsuit in 2018 accusing Madigan’s political operations of retaliation after she reported inappropriate behavior by Kevin Quinn, a veteran aide whom the speaker has ousted.

The settlement comes a little more than a week after the Tribune reported that Madigan’s longtime confidant Michael McClain, an ex-lobbyist for ComEd, had orchestrated for other current and former ComEd lobbyists to give Quinn contracts after Madigan fired him amid the scandal. The more than $30,000 in payments to Quinn and emails about the work are part of a sweeping federal investigation into ComEd lobbying activities, the Tribune has reported. […]

Of the settlement, Hampton will receive $75,000, according to Shelly Kulwin, her attorney. Kulwin said his law firm would receive the bulk of the rest of the funds, but a portion also will go to Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, an organization that has helped women impacted by sexual harassment cases since the beginning of the national #MeToo movement.

* Press release…

Following is a statement from Alaina Hampton regarding the settlement she and her attorneys have reached with the Democratic Party of Illinois, the Democratic Majority, the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, and Friends of Michael J. Madigan:

“My case against the Democratic Party of Illinois, the Democratic Majority, the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, and Friends of Michael J. Madigan has been resolved. Going public with my story and pursuing a cause of action against some of the most powerful people in this State, and people I cared about, has not been easy. The past three years have taken a toll on me, so I am relieved to move forward with my life and put these events behind me.

“Since speaking out publicly nearly two years ago, we have seen positive changes in this State. The legislature has passed sweeping legislation to deal with sexual harassment, which achieves important gains–although there is still more to be done. Others have come forward as well, leading to multiple firings and resignations of abusive men. Lastly, a space has been created for an open and honest dialogue about sexism and abuse in the workplace that I’m confident will continue.

“Now more than ever, I know how important it is for women and others in the workplace to live in a society where we address these issues head on without fear of retribution and have in place resources to help victims and survivors heal. I am committed to continuing to advocate for and work on behalf of those fighting for justice and those working to move forward with their lives after trauma. On December 3, I am convening a #MeToo Meetup so that others who share this commitment can connect, exchange ideas and work together to make sure we can one day live in a world where no one has to face sexual harassment and violence at work or anywhere.

“I would like to thank my legal team at Kulwin, Masciopinto & Kulwin, LLP, the Times Up Legal Defense Fund, Joanna Klonsky Communication Strategies, and everyone else who has supported me throughout this process. No one can go through this alone, and no one should have to. I hope to be a source of support for others who experience sexual harassment and abuse.”

* Madigan spokesperson…

We are pleased with the agreement to resolve the lawsuit. Speaker Madigan remains committed to protecting employees, volunteers and candidates who care about working families and the rights of women, minorities and others whose voices are often silenced. Creating a fair and welcoming workplace is a priority for Speaker Madigan and the Democratic Party of Illinois. Over the last two years, the Speaker and the party have made significant changes to strengthen training, policies and reporting procedures for staff and volunteers to ensure their rights are protected.

*** UPDATE *** Good for her…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments »
  1. - Anon E Moose - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 9:27 am:

    She only gets $75k out of $275k? This seems like a bad deal.


  2. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 9:32 am:

    The plaintiff only gets 75K of the 275K because trial lawyers run the state of Illinois

    How welcoming has the Democratic party of Illinois been to this whistleblower?


  3. - Another Regular Dem - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 9:34 am:

    Terrible deal; but, she had no actual case from the beginning.


  4. - Flat Bed Ford - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    Same as it ever was. A few phone calls to the unions and that money is raised. Corruption and bad behavior continue under Madigan. Nothing changes until he leaves or his members grow a spine.


  5. - Back to the Future - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 9:49 am:

    She actually changed the Springfield Culture.
    Without commenting on the money judgement amount, the citizens of our state are in a much better place because this lady stood up for herself.


  6. - Arsenal - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    == The plaintiff only gets 75K of the 275K because trial lawyers run the state of Illinois==

    State policy has vanishingly little to do with attorney-client representation agreements. Not everything fits into your hobbyhorse.


  7. - A guy - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    When you see the disbursement of the money here, you really wonder who exactly the settlement was reached with?
    Though I’m sure they put in a lot of hours, the allocation seems a little lop-sided.


  8. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    I wonder how much goes to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. Selfless of Hampton to allow for some of the settlement money to go there.


  9. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    “The legislature has passed sweeping legislation to deal with sexual harassment, which achieves important gains–although there is still more to be done. Others have come forward as well, leading to multiple firings and resignations of abusive men.”

    Congrats to Ms. Hampton and the DPI for settling, and thanks to Ms. Hampton for coming forward and helping initiate change that is so necessary.


  10. - Steve - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    This is a big story. The Madigan operation admitted that they officially were part of a “threatening and hostile ” work environment. When single women are part of your coalition , this isn’t a great thing to admit to with an upcoming election.


  11. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    Hey there is a trial tax to take on Madigan. It seems way out of kilter. Maybe she has ties to the Times Up Defense Fund


  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    ===When you see the disbursement of the money here, you really wonder who exactly the settlement was reached with?===

    1) Hampton is not a babe in the woods. She didn’t get conned into making this deal.

    2) The people who believed she filed this lawsuit for the money were obviously wrong.


  13. - SSL - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:27 am:

    I wonder how the $275,000 compares to the amount Madigan spent on legal fees over this issue.

    Other men would have been brought down by permitting such a culture to exist, but Madigan isn’t some average mope. He’s the Velvet Hammer, and don’t you forget it.


  14. - NotMe - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    When I heard the news of the settlement, I immediately imagined the folks here who’d go down the money rabbit hole and forget that this young woman was put through hell, then went through 3 more years of hell just to get relief. Sadly, I was right. As Rich said, the people who thought she did this for the money were wrong. She truly changed the culture, which will obviously need to keep changing, but her willingness to stand up for herself and others got this ball rolling in the right direction pretty darn fast.


  15. - silenced - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    == This is a big story. The Madigan operation admitted that they officially were part of a “threatening and hostile ” work environment. When single women are part of your coalition , this isn’t a great thing to admit to with an upcoming election. ==

    No they didn’t. You’re making things up now to suit your own narrative.


  16. - Honeybear - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    What an ugly thing this all was/is. I’m so sorry she had to go through all this. Her bravery and courage is inspiring. Still what an ugly thing.


  17. - 2nd Ward/Old Town Irishman - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    I think that this story had some fundamental problems from the beginning, but I couldn’t agree more with Rich on this. She obviously wasn’t in it for the money. I’ll go further and say that people spreading that nonsense are only perpetuating and even encouraging the culture Ms. Hampton chose to stand up and fight against.

    Most disturbing, to me, though, is how many times the victim had to tell and retell her story. What bravery and fortitude it must have taken knowing that every aspect of her life would be unfairly dissected and interpreted, over and over again. Sexual Assault Advocates try and limit the victims forced re-telling of traumatic events. In this case, I saw none of that sensitivity, yet another red flag pointing to a fundamental misunderstanding of the way to behave in the workplace under the dome.


  18. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    I’m thankful Hampton’s brave selfless fight has helped change the culture some.

    But there’s a ways to go - anyone know which House members stood with Hampton? Cassidy & Guzzardi on twitter did so.


  19. - A guy - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    ==2) The people who believed she filed this lawsuit for the money were obviously wrong.==

    Understatement of the year.


  20. - JS Mill - Monday, Dec 2, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    =The plaintiff only gets 75K of the 275K because trial lawyers run the state of Illinois

    How welcoming has the Democratic party of Illinois been to this whistleblower?=

    yeah…Stormy Daniels only received $160,000 in illegal payments from Trump.

    And little Don is a big supporter of whistle blowers./s


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