Madigan chief of staff resigns after sexual harassment allegations

Madigan chief of staff resigns after sexual harassment allegations

Tim Mapes has resigned from his posts in Madigan’s office and the Democratic Party of Illinois after a fellow staff member accused him of sexual harassment.

A fourth member of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s inner circle is now the subject of allegations involving inappropriate behavior at the workplace.

Amid those allegations, Madigan’s chief of staff, Tim Mapes, has resigned from his posts as Madigan’s chief of staff, the clerk of the House of Representatives and the executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

A longtime worker for the speaker’s office in Springfield, Sherri Garrett, came forward June 6 alleging Mapes “has made repeated, inappropriate comments to me, and around me, both in the office and on the House floor.”

“They should be held to the highest standard,” Garrett said. “Instead, they behave like they are above reproach and the speaker’s office is a locker room.”

Among other claims regarding inappropriate comments, Garrett said that when she brought to Mapes’ attention a young woman who had been sexually harassed by a member of the House Democratic caucus, Mapes allegedly responded, “Are you reporting the situation because you are upset the representative isn’t paying attention to you?”

In a press release, Madigan claimed Mapes resigned “at my direction.” Mapes will almost certainly collect a six-figure pension in his first year of retirement. He has clocked decades of service in the state’s pension system, and took home a $200,000 salary from the state in 2017, according to the Illinois comptroller’s office.

“While Mr. Mapes [sic] resignation is an important symbolic and substantive change, however, the conditions that led to my harassment and the mistreatment of so many others have not changed,” Garrett said in her own press release following the chief of staff’s resignation.

Controversy for Madigan allies

Madigan ally and Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang resigned from his leadership post May 31 amid sexual harassment allegations from a female medical marijuana advocate. Lang claimed the allegations were “absurd.”

Lang also stepped down from the eight-member Legislative Ethics Commission, which recently endured criticism after it came to light that the office of the legislative inspector general – responsible for investigating sexual harassment claims – went unfilled for three years.

Garrett’s allegations came the same day Madigan’s legal team asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by former campaign worker Alaina Hampton, who in February provided evidence of inappropriate and persistent text messages from state worker and Madigan political operative Kevin Quinn. Quinn’s brother, a Chicago alderman, shares his ward office with Madigan.

“I never wanted to do this but I know my silence only protects the perpetrator and the organization, which will allow this situation to happen to someone else,” Hampton said at the time.

“I firmly believe they thought that I was too loyal to ever come forward.”

Days after Madigan parted ways with Quinn, he also severed ties with Democratic Party lieutenant Shaw Decremer, citing “inappropriate behavior by a volunteer toward a candidate and staff.”

State Rep Scott Drury, D-Highland Park, filed House Bill 4156 in November 2017, which would allow for the attorney general to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and assault by members of the General Assembly or registered lobbyists.

The bill did not escape Madigan’s Rules Committee.

“If Speaker Madigan will not allow HB 4156 or similar legislation proposed by others to move forward,” Drury said in a press release, “I call on him to step down so we can elect a House Speaker who shows through actions that he or she truly values all people within our State.”

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!