State Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) joins several other lawmakers in calling for an investigation following the recent allegations made by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who says she was forced to resign from her part-time job at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office after speaking out against Speaker Mike Madigan’s handling of sexual harassment claims within his political office. McConnaughay says retaliation of this kind, or any kind, needs to be taken very seriously and has no place in the Capitol.
Madigan, himself, has asked for the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) to investigate Cassidy’s allegations; however, Sen. McConnaughay believes the investigation needs to be done independently from the LIG and free from Madigan’s control.
“No inspector general should be handling an investigation regarding allegations made against the person who appoints them,” said McConnaughay. “If the Legislative Inspector General were to be in charge of this investigation, it would be a clear conflict of interest, as Madigan played a significant role in the current LIG’s appointment. The LIG cannot conduct an unbiased investigation when she is investigating the person who appointed her. This investigation must be independent.”
When sexual harassment allegations first came to light about an individual on Madigan’s political staff, Rep. Cassidy was one of few who voiced her opinion on the matter calling for an investigation and a review of sexual harassment policies. Cassidy has since publicly claimed that as a result of her speaking out against the way Madigan handled the situation, she felt forced to resign at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
“The only way for these unethical behaviors to stop is if people, like Rep. Cassidy, come forward to tell their story,” said McConnaughay. “Unfortunately, this kind of conduct has been going on for way too long in the Capitol building, and it’s long past time for it to end. Illinois cannot afford this kind of culture to continue. I commend Rep. Cassidy’s bravery to speak up and for being a trailblazer in the effort to end this kind of corruption.”