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…