Four political committees controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan paid $275,000 to settle a federal sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former campaign worker.
Former campaign worker Alaina Hampton sued House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political operation in 2018 claiming retaliation after she made allegations of sexual harassment against former Madigan aide Kevin Quinn. Quinn was fired just before Hampton made her claims public.
The Chicago Tribune reported the settlement on Friday.
Madigan, through a spokesman, had previously denied the organizations retaliated against Hampton.
"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" a spokeswoman for the Illinois Democratic Party said Friday night. "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.”
Hampton's suit alleged that around August 2016, Quinn started the “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” with repeated calls, some late at night, dozens of text messages, including one telling Hampton she was “smoking hot.” The unwanted text messages continued even after Hampton repeatedly told Quinn to stop, according to the lawsuit and copies of text messages included in the court filing.
Hampton's said that while changes had been made since she filed her lawsuit, more is needed.
“Since speaking out publicly nearly two years ago, we have seen positive changes in this state,” Hampton said in a statement, according to the Tribune. “The legislature has passed sweeping legislation to deal with sexual harassment, which achieves important gains – although there is still more to be done."