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* Tina Sfondeles with the scoop…
Illinois State Police executed a search warrant Wednesday at Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s Capitol offices as they investigate allegations of wrongdoing, including sexual misconduct and stalking, against Jack Franks, a former state representative who now serves as McHenry County Board chairman. […]
The search warrant — obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times via a Freedom of Information Act request — says Illinois State Police justified the search because “probable cause exists for the crimes of criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault, official misconduct, stalking and aggravated battery.”
Police requested personnel, human resources or other files “containing information related to allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct by former Illinois State Representative Jack D. Franks.”
It also asked for “reports or complaints related to sexual misconduct, harassment, stalking or other misconduct by Franks.” […]
The speaker’s office on Friday said a complaint was first received about alleged sexual harassment involving an employee of the speaker’s office and a former state representative on Nov. 19, 2018. Madigan and his chief of staff were notified, and an investigation began. […]
In February 2019, the speaker’s office determined the harassment allegations were “credible,” and the speaker asked Illinois Secretary of State Police to ban Franks from entering the Capitol without an escort, the speaker’s office said.
A month later, the speaker’s office said they received even more information about the allegations, which increased in severity, and based on that, the office called various law enforcement agencies to report “possible criminal conduct.”
There’s lots more, so click here to read the rest. Franks is also openly backing Brian Sager in the 63rd House District Democratic primary against Peter Janko.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Speaker Madigan’s office…
The Office of the Speaker today released information about a complaint involving allegations of sexual harassment. In an effort to protect the alleged victim’s right to privacy, personal information and private details have been redacted.
On November 19, 2018, the Office received a complaint alleging sexual harassment involving an employee and a former Illinois state representative. In accordance with the Office’s policy, Speaker Madigan and the Chief of Staff were immediately notified and an investigation was initiated. Based on the allegations involved in the complaint, Speaker Madigan directed his Counsel to notify the alleged perpetrator that they were prohibited from any contact with employees in the Office and from visiting the Capitol complex. The Office also took immediate action to assess whether the alleged victim was in danger and whether any immediate accommodations were necessary. The alleged victim requested confidentiality and due to unforeseen circumstances could not fully participate in the investigation for a period of time, but ultimately provided information and assisted with the investigation.
In February 2019, the Office determined that the allegations were credible. As a result, the Office of the Speaker took additional steps to protect the alleged victim and requested the Secretary of State Police ban the alleged perpetrator from entering the Capitol Complex without an escort.
In March 2019, the Office received additional information about the allegations. Based on this information and numerous facts discovered during the investigation, the Office initiated contact with various law enforcement agencies to report possible criminal conduct. Speaker Madigan called the Sangamon County State’s Attorney to advise that the Office had information about possible criminal conduct and would fully cooperate with any investigation. Following that call, the Chief Counsel contacted the State’s Attorney and was advised to contact the Illinois State Police. The Chief Counsel and Human Resources Director met with the Illinois State Police to provide information about the allegations. Shortly after this meeting, the Office facilitated a meeting between the State Police and the alleged victim. Additionally, the Office informed Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope and Maggie Hickey, a partner at Schiff Hardin, who was then engaged in an independent investigation of the Office of the Speaker and Office of the Clerk. Simultaneously, the Office contacted the Secretary of State Police to confirm the Capitol Police were aware that the former member should not be allowed in the Capitol Complex without a security escort. In an effort to cooperate with any potential outside investigation, the Office of the Speaker preserved all documents related to the investigation and offered full cooperation.
On January 24, 2020, the Illinois State Police contacted the Office to request the investigatory file. On January 27, 2020, the Chief Counsel contacted the Counsel for the Illinois State Police to offer cooperation and discuss protocol for transmitting the documents. On January 28 and 29, the Chief Counsel made several attempts to contact the State’s Attorney to discuss how the Office could cooperate and transfer any documents; however, there was no response. On January 29, 2020, the Illinois State Police executed a search warrant at the Office to expedite receipt of documents related to the allegations, and documents were immediately provided. In addition, the alleged victim was notified of the search warrant the following day. Because the State Police search warrant was not filed under seal, the nature of the allegations and the name of the accused are now publicly available. The Office of the Speaker has therefore decided to release the information that can be made public surrounding the complaint.
The confidentiality of the complainant involved in this matter has been and continues to be of paramount importance. The Office’s response and actions related to this complaint were made, to the extent possible, in consultation with the complainant and consistent with the complainant’s wishes. In this instance, the alleged victim has requested confidentiality, and the Office will continue to be committed to respecting the complainant’s request for privacy.
For information on crime victim’s assistance please contact the Crime Victims Assistance Line (800-228-3368). For information on sexual assault please contact the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (www.icasa.org or call 217-753-4117).
The following statement is attributable to Speaker Mike Madigan:
“After receiving a report of alleged sexual harassment, my office immediately took steps to protect the alleged victim and conducted an investigation. Based on information received during the investigation and subsequent to it, my office informed the appropriate authorities of the allegations and the investigation, including the Sangamon County State’s Attorney, the Secretary of State Capitol Police, and the Illinois State Police for further review and action. I remain committed to working to protect the victim and will see this matter to its conclusion in order to ensure the victim’s safety. My office has taken significant steps to strengthen the process for filing a complaint of sexual harassment. I remain committed to better protecting employees and ensuring a safe and supportive workplace for all.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…
State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) issued the following statement upon learning that the Illinois State Police executed a search warrant Wednesday at Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s Capitol offices investigating allegations of wrongdoing, including sexual misconduct and stalking, against McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks:
“The news that Jack Franks is under investigation because probable cause exists for the crimes of criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault, official misconduct, stalking and aggravated battery, according to the Illinois State Police, goes beyond anything that can be easily dismissed with a blanket denial,” Reick said. “These allegations stem from actions that occurred as far back as 2016, and they demand a complete investigation.”
According to a report in the Chicago Sun Times: “Madigan’s office said it received a complaint in 2018 about alleged sexual harassment by a former state representative, investigated and found the complaint credible. Madigan’s office said appropriate law enforcement agencies were informed the following year.”
“I have to wonder why it is that predatory actions that allegedly occurred as far back as 2016 took until 2018 to be communicated to and investigated by the Speaker’s office, and why it then took until the following year for law enforcement to be informed of them.” Reick said. “Where will this end?”
“Jack Franks has no choice but to immediately resign as the Chairman of the McHenry County Board.” Reick demanded.
“Everything he does in that role going forward will be tainted by the credible allegations of abuse against an innocent victim of what by all accounts is predatory behavior. The people of McHenry County deserve representation that is not tainted by allegations of misconduct of such breathtaking proportions. Until these allegations are fully dealt with, he has no business holding a position of trust. He must immediately resign.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** Excerpt from the full search warrant…