Illinois state Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) on the House floor | repugaste.com
Illinois state Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) believes the ongoing sexual assault investigation surrounding McHenry County Board chairman and former state representative Jack Franks (R-Marengo) casts an equally dark cloud of suspicion over longtime House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).
“It seems clear that there was a culture [in Springfield] where people thought this type of behavior was acceptable,” Ugaste told the McHenry Times. “We had a culture that should have never been allowed to exist and there has only been one House Speaker over that time. You’re in charge and it happened under your watch, at some point and time you have to take a level of responsibility for that.”
Illinois State Police recently executed a raid on Madigan’s Springfield office looking for evidence related to criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault, official misconduct, stalking and aggravated battery allegations against Franks in a case that dates back to 2016 while he was still in the state House of Representatives. Several media outlets have reported that Madigan's office made available to authorities information it had gathered related to the case after receiving a complaint against Franks from a staff member.
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago)
Following an internal investigation, Franks was prohibited from any contact with employees in the Springfield office. More recently, Madigan’s office moved to release a statement claiming that staffers took immediate action to protect the alleged victim and to conduct a full investigation of her complaint.
In Ugaste’s mind, the timing of the statement in itself should raise some questions.
“We know there is an active investigation and that the Speaker’s office has released a statement, despite the search warrant explicitly indicating that the case is still under seal,” Ugaste said. “That shouldn’t happen.”