Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy ( D-Chicago )who, this past winter, spoke publicly about sexual-harassment allegations in House Speaker Michael Madigan's political operationsis saying that she and her part-time employer have been dealing with retaliation efforts from Madigan's allies.
Cassidy, who is lesbian, said May 21 in a Chicago Sun-Times article that she quit her position with the Cook County Sheriff's Office after it received two calls inquiring about Cassidy's employment. The sheriff's office, for its part, has maintained that the calls were about legislative matters.
In a May 22 statement, Cassidy said, "In February, I first spoke publicly about the inadequate response to allegations of sexual harassment within Speaker Madigan's operation. On two occasions since that time, someone loyal to Speaker Madigan has attempted to intimidate me and my part-time employer. After the second occurrence, I knew it wouldn't stop, and I knew that the only way to ensure that these retaliation efforts cease is to place a spotlight on them.
"...As this story now turns to the inevitable he said/she said and denials, I remain firmly committed to being a steadfast voice for justice and equality, just as I have worked against harassment and discrimination throughout my career. I stand by my story. I did not want to leave the work and the team I loved being a part of, and I certainly did not want to spend the waning days of this session focused on anything other than passing my bills and getting a budget completed."
The Sun-Times article is at chicago.suntimes.com/politics/retaliation-state-rep-says-questioning-madigan-on-harassment-cost-her-job/.