Jameson says legislators should not be in charge of investigation into sexual harassment in Springfield
GOP state House candidate Doug Jameson thinks that there’s really only one way to get to the bottom of the widening sexual harassment scandal now threatening to topple the political empire of House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).
“I don’t think we’ll ever see the end of this until we demand an individual investigation of everything where the probe is not under the authority of legislators in any way,” Jameson told the Metro East Sun. “Until we do that, we can’t have a fair, complete look at what’s happened. We can’t have the person who may be partly responsible for the whole problem in charge of the investigation. Someone needs the power to do something about this system.”
The latest shoe to drop comes courtesy of Tim Mapes, Madigan’s longtime chief of staff, who was forced to step down after being hit with allegations of sexual harassment and bullying by fellow Madigan staffer Sherri Garrett.
Mapes is now the fourth high-ranking member of Madigan’s operation, including his No. 2 man in Springfield, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), to be hit with similar allegations.
“I’m a retired Army veteran, and what I’ve learned is [that] if you’re the commander of the operation or leader of the office, you have to be at least partly responsible for everything that happens... in that office,” said Jameson, a Belleville Republican who is challenging Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) in the 113th District. “Speaker Madigan bears some responsibility for all this given that it all occurred on his watch.”
Since the latest controversy became public, Madigan has announced that he has commissioned an all-female search committee to choose Mapes’ replacement as executive director of the state's Democratic Party. Among the group of 18 is state Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago), who is Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker’s running mate.
Jameson said he would like to see more done to change the culture in Springfield.
“We’re just continuing to react to something without putting the mechanisms in place to change anything,” he said. “We’ve got to have an independent investigation where there’s real power to change things.”