CHICAGO - A new book contains stories from dozens of women in Illinois government and politics and their battles against sexual harassment, including Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.
Foxx and Madigan are two of 17 women featured in a new book about sexual harassment in Illinois politics. For author Kerry Lester, a former political reporter for the Daily Herald, Foxx's story is one of the most compelling.
"She had a judge when she was seven months pregnant call and tell her how sexy she looked on a voicemail message. She had a superior thrust at her on an elevator," Lester said.
In the book, "No, My Place," Foxx recounts her experiences as an assistant state's attorney. She said one of the reasons she ran for state's attorney was to change a culture that she says chews up and spits out women. It's an environment Foxx says her former predecessor and opponent Anita Alvarez was part of.
Foxx told Lester her efforts to get an unnamed, high-ranking official in the office fired for harassment fell on deaf ears.
"She finds out this man was very good friends with the State's Attorney, whatever she did to get this behavior noticed was ineffective," Lester said.
In a written statement, Alvarez told ABC 7: "This is the first time Ms. Foxx has made these allegations and any implication that I would have tolerated such behavior is wrong and flies in the face of my lifetime of working on behalf of victims."
Also featured in Lester's book are stories of harassment from Attorney General Lisa Madigan, City of Chicago Clerk Anna Valencia, state lawmakers, lobbyists, judges and political consultants.
"I spoke to over two dozen women," Lester said. "My aim at collecting stories was to get a diverse range of voices."
Lester spoke with many more women, but some felt it was too risky to tell their stories.
Foxx is out of town and was not available for an interview. Her office confirms all the information she gave to Lester.