Batinick says GOP would have handled harassment issue differently
Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) has spent the last few days lamenting about some of the things his legislative colleagues are accused of and that he insists he would never have allowed to happen.
“There’s a stark contrast in the way he (Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan of Chicago) has handled allegations of abuse in his party versus what my party would have allowed,” Batinick, running for re-election in the 97th District, told the Will County Gazette of the sexual harassment issue rocking the House speaker's office.
Former political staffer Alaina Hampton recently stepped forward to allege she was harassed by longtime Madigan operative Kevin Quinn, her direct supervisor and the brother of Marty Quinn, a Chicago alderman and Madigan ally. Hampton further alleged that her complaint was ignored by Madigan and other members of his organization.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Hampton alleged her issues with Kevin Quinn date to 2016, when he started sending her inappropriate text messages and asking her out on dates.
She said in February 2017, she filed a complaint with Marty Quinn, and by April of that year, Hampton had walked away from her job after coming to believe her complaints were largely being ignored.
She said she felt there was a cover up because she sent a letter to Madigan’s home in late 2017, but no action was taken against Kevin Quinn until a day after she went public with her story.
Hampton has since filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and she and her attorneys plan to file suit against the Illinois Democratic Party and Friends of Mike Madigan.
The ruckus in Madigan’s office comes as legislative leaders in Springfield grapple with the fallout of having the office of the legislative inspector general sitting unfilled for roughly three years. The inspector general is responsible for investigating all ethics complaints, including allegations of sexual harassment.
During the time the position went unfilled, at least 27 complaints alleging harassment were filed, including one against Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), who has since been found to have engaged in behavior “unbecoming a legislator” in his dealings with local activist Denise Rotheimer.
Batinick hinted he thinks it’s that kind of lack of accountability that has created the kind of disrespectful atmosphere that contributed to Winfield Township GOP Chairman and 42nd District GOP candidate Burt Minor being accused of making racist and sexist comments to Republican state’s attorney candidate Erika Harold.
Several media outlets have reported Minor referred to Harold, a former Miss America and the party-backed candidate for state's attorney, as a lesbian and openly used the derogatory N-word in her presence.
“Burt Minor needs to withdraw from the race immediately,” Batinick said. “There’s no place for any of what he is accused of saying.”
The 97th District includes all or parts of Oswego, Plainfield and Shorewood.