The #MeToo movement gained momentum in late 2017 and continued to affect Illinois politics in Illinois, including those around House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Early in the year a Madigan campaign worker named Alaina Hampton came out publicly with allegations that Madigan’s political operations retaliated against her for reporting unwanted advances by her supervisor. Hampton said she gave Madigan’s staff text messages, and they sat on them and did nothing. Hampton later sued in federal court. That case is pending.
On the final day of legislative session in May, medical cannabis advocate Mary Ann Loncar alleged Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang sexually harassed her. She said she went to the press because there was no one else she could tell her story to.
Lang stepped down from his leadership post, and from the Legislative Ethics Commission, but denied Loncar’s allegations. He was later cleared by the interim inspector general, in part because Loncar declined to participate in the probe.
Shortly after Loncar’s allegations, Sherri Garrett, a staffer inside Madigan’s office, accused Madigan’s chief of staff, Tim Mapes, of years of harassment. Mapes resigned hours later.
All of this played out while there wasn’t a permanent legislative inspector general. Legislative leaders picked an interim in late 2017, and lawmakers changed the rules requiring the full general assembly to vote on a new one, but that still hasn’t taken place
In December the Legislative Ethics Commission nominated retired judge Carol Pope to be the next LIG. That nomination could be approved sometime in January at the earliest, more than a year since the multiyear vacancy in the post was revealed.