A lawyer is accusing Mike Madigan’s Southwest Side ward organization of trying to find “dirt” on a woman whose sexual harassment allegations led the powerful Democrat to fire a longtime aide who is the brother of the ward’s alderman.
The lawyer for political consultant Alaina Hampton sent a “cease and desist” letter to Jack Hynes on Thursday, accusing her former boss at the nonprofit Chicago Heights Economic Development Corporation of trying to smear Hampton — and claiming that Madigan’s team put Hynes up to it.
“It has been brought to our attention that you, on behalf of the 13th Ward Democratic Organization and Michael J. Madigan, have been conducting an investigation to build a case to disparage Ms. Hampton’s professional and personal reputation,” wrote the lawyers with Kulwin, Masciopinto & Kulwin. “In so doing, you have contacted several of Ms. Hampton’s male colleagues, friends and acquaintances, in an effort to get ‘dirt’ on her and determine whether she has had inappropriate relationships with those men.”
Hynes issued a statement denying the claims.
“It’s unfortunate that a casual conversation among two friends has been escalated to the level of involving lawyers,” Hynes said. “In an effort to advance an economic and political agenda, I have been thrust into the spotlight, despite the fact that I didn’t act on behalf of anyone, consult anyone or discuss this with anyone (other than the person I was talking to), especially Speaker Madigan or his staff.
“Any words spoken by me were innocuous and unrelated to the pending legal matter. To the extent my words offended Ms. Hampton, Speaker Madigan or anyone else for that matter, I apologize, that wasn’t my intent,” Hynes said.
Copies of the letter were also sent to the Illinois Democratic Party, Madigan’s political committee and the 13th Ward Democratic organization.
“We really don’t know anything about it and we’re not involved,” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said.
Hampton held a news conference on Tuesday outlining the pattern of alleged harassment by Kevin Quinn — a younger brother of Ald. Marty Quinn (13th) — who sent her barrages of unwanted text messages while she worked on Madigan’s campaign, she says.
Madigan fired Kevin Quinn a day earlier, hailing Hampton as a “courageous woman” — but Hampton dismissed the termination as a proactive “coverup,” noting that no action was taken for nearly a year after she first brought up her complaints.
Lorna Brett, an adviser to Hampton, called Hynes’ alleged dirt-diggingan “intimidation tactic.”
“This attempt to intimidate and vilify Alaina Hampton is typical of people who abuse their power,” she said.
Quinn, meanwhile, was arrestedThursdayat his home in Chicago after he allegedly called and sent texts to another woman on Feb. 10, according to Evergreen Park police. The alleged contact violated an order of protection against Quinn, police said.
Contributing: Stefano Esposito