Skillicorn calls on Madigan to step down as scandals mount
Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) is calling on House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) to step down in the wake of a number of recent scandals that have rocked his office.
The Chicago Tribune has reported the latest controversy centers around allegations made by Liz Hogan claiming that Madigan was fully aware early on of domestic battery allegations she lodged against Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) 16 years ago, but chose not to act even though her father pleaded with him to do so.
During a recent press conference, Hogan further alleged that her now late father, Sen. Andy McCann, directly took his case to Madigan before Rita was ultimately acquitted at trial.
“Speaker Madigan said he would not get involved and then continued to back Rita with everything he had,” Hogan said. “ I think my dad was shocked.”
Through a spokesman, Madigan has insisted he doesn’t recall having any such conversation with McCann.
Rita began his first term in Springfield in 2003, and Madigan has contributed to his re-election campaign.
At a press conference, Hogan, who has endorsed Mary Carvlin who is challenging Rita in the primary, said she is hopeful her story will now carry more weight in the era of the #MeToo movement and the harassment scandal brewing in Springfield.
In a statement, Rita described Hogan as “a former girlfriend” and denied the allegations. He refused to comment further.
Skillicorn intimated that might not be enough, especially where Madigan is concerned in light of the fact he was just forced to oust two longtime top lieutenants from his organization over claims of inappropriate behavior involving female co-workers.
“First it was a high profile Democratic senator, next it was two top lieutenants of Madigan’s political organization and now a domestic battery allegation,” Skillicorn said in a press release. “The revelation that a man who has spent decades building political capital based on the claim that he is the champion of women’s rights in Illinois has in fact been willfully blind to abuses and harassment amongst members of his own caucus and political organization should give pause to any person who believes that he is still deserving of confidence in his leadership.”
Madigan recently released a partial list of nine sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation complaints he says his office has investigated over the last five years.
According to the Tribune, Madigan has pointed to the list as proof that his office has taken such matters seriously and acted to maintain a peaceful and respectful work environment for all.
“What it says is that our office has been available for those that wish to file complaints, and that we’ve done it according to protocol and according to statute,” Madigan told the Tribune. “Our commitment to everybody is that we are going to continue to do things in a proper manner, and we are going to continue to work with all interested parties to move toward a change in culture around the Capitol building and in the politics of Illinois.”
Skillicorn said the time for just talk has come and gone.
“Enough is enough,” he added. “It is time for new leadership to restore the people’s confidence that their state House isn’t some sort of bad episode of ‘Mad Men.’”