Speaker Madigan calls for investigation of retaliation complaints against him

House Speaker Mike Madigan is calling for an investigation into a state representative's claim that he retaliated against her. He is also denying allegations made by a democratic lawmaker that he retaliated against her.

This all stems from when Representative Kelly Cassidy publicly criticized Speaker Madigan for his handling of sexual harassment allegations leveled against one his top lieutenants.

"I know this was retaliation," Cassidy said.


She claims she had no choice but to quit a part time job with the Cook County Sheriff's Department after Madigan ally, state Rep. Bob Rita, called her supervisor at the sheriff's office last week about her refusal to support a bill the sheriff was pushing.

"He brought it up with my supervisor as well and went even further in his conversations with her saying that he would've been expected to have been fired from a job if he opposed his boss," Cassidy said.

But Cassidy said the retaliation actually it started three months ago.

"The first came within a day or two of my speaking out back in February where the Speakers chief of staff Tim Mapes called my supervisor in the sheriff's office Cara Smith, to inquire as to whether I still work there," Cassidy said.

At the time Cassidy had criticized Madigan's handling of Alaina Hampton's sexual harassment claims made against her supervisor in Madigan's 13th ward organization. Cassidy led calls for an independent investigation.

On Tuesday, Hampton rallied to Cassidy's defense, calling her courageous.

"Well at first I was very sad and you know really disappointed in this situation I felt bad for Kelly but I was not surprised at all because these are the types of tactics that that organization uses," said Alaina Hampton, a former Madigan campaign worker

Tuesday morning Madigan had a letter hand delivered to Cassidy denying he or his staff engaged in retaliation. Tuesday afternoon he followed up with another letter asking the Legislative Inspector General to launch an investigation.

"It's not just me or representative Cassidy that these things happen to they happen to many people and more people should be speaking out about it," Hampton said.

Cassidy said she is getting a lot of support in the Capitol.

"Coming forward is about being out in the sunshine, and ensuring that it can't happen again," Cassidy said.

Rita, a Madigan ally, denied Tuesday that he brought up Cassidy's employment when talking about the sheriff's bill and denied trying to intimidate her.

Cassidy said she felt she had to come forward with this for all those too afraid to speak out. At this point, she has no intentions of talking to the Speaker about this she just wants to make it through the rest of the session which ends May 31.
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