The man at the heart of one of the most damaging #MeToo allegations to hit Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan on Wednesday released a 14-page account of his “truth” — claiming the “unprofessional” text messages he sent to a campaign worker were an isolated event in a decadeslong career working for the powerful speaker.
Kevin Quinn, whom Madigan fired in February, released “The Truth” document to reporters just hours before a federal judge was set to hear a lawsuit filed by Quinn’s accuser, political consultant Alaina Hampton.
Hampton in February outlined accusations against Quinn — a younger brother of Ald. Marty Quinn (13th) — claiming he sent her barrages of unwanted text messages and phone calls in pursuit of a romantic and sexual relationship.
At the time, Madigan called Hampton “a courageous woman” for bringing the allegations to his attention.
Since then, Hampton has filed a federal lawsuit against the powerful Illinois House speaker’s political committee and the state Democratic party.
Among many of his rebuttals, Kevin Quinn says he believes he was actually fired because of a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge stemming from what he called a “nasty and bitter divorce” — not Hampton’s allegations.
And the document offers a handy disclaimer that the report doesn’t reflect the views of the Democratic Party of Illinois, the Democratic Majority, Madigan’s political committee, the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, Madigan himself, or Quinn’s brother, Ald. Marty Quinn.
It also offers a defense for Madigan, who since February has forced out Kevin Quinn and Tim Mapes, his chief of staff and executive director of the state’s Democratic Party. Madigan, too, forced Deputy Majority Lou Lang’s hand in resigning from his leadership positions and from the Legislative Ethics Commission amid harassment allegations.
“It is no secret that the media has strong unconscious personal biases against Speaker Madigan,” Kevin Quinn wrote in the report. “…For the most part, Speaker Madigan has remained silent as he is a man who does not need the media’s recognition to commend him on this contributions to his community and the State of Illinois. With the national policy window open, I believe the media has jumped to conclusions regarding Alaina Hampton’s accounts.”
Kevin Quinn claims he was never Hampton’s supervisor and never had control of her assignments; that Hampton has “exaggerated” her roles for Madigan’s political committees; that she was not retaliated against but wasn’t “welcomed back” after winning state Rep. Juliana Stratton’s legislative race because “she took a salaried position on the Marie Newman for Congress campaign” against Dan Lipinski, who is an ally of the 13th Ward Democratic Organization.
He also alleges there was “never any sort of cover-up with respect to the investigation.”
Quinn also claims that while Hampton “suggested she was ‘experiencing crippling anxiety with every text and phone call’ she received” from him, “her actions do not indicate as such.”
Kevin Quinn says Hampton contacted him several times with work-related issues. He also wrote that he stopped talking to Hampton the day that his brother “took action and reprimanded” him about the text messages.
In a timeline Kevin Quinn provides, he writes that he was reprimanded by Madigan’s attorney Heather Wier Vaught for his unprofessional behavior on Dec. 19, 2017: “He was told that his behavior was unacceptable, was directed to go to a sexual harassment training and Heather made clear that he could not socialize with workers.” Wier Vaught also said any violation would lead to his dismissal and that Madigan would be briefed on the investigation.
In January, Kevin Quinn pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct from a verbal dispute with his estranged wife. And on Feb. 9, Madigan and Ald. Marty Quinn told Kevin Quinn to leave his positions. Kevin Quinn cites that timeline as proof the misdemeanor charge led to his dismissal.
Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Sara Ellis on Wednesday said she’d rule on a motion to dismiss the suit, filed by Madigan’s attorneys, on Oct. 31 — just six days before the general election.
Shelly Kulwin, Hampton’s attorney, said “it’s easy to write ‘the truth’ when you’re only using your documents that are out in public.” He said there are still questions about texts and emails between Madigan, Quinn and Quinn’s brother.
“I’ll respond to ‘the truth’ once I know the truth,” Kulwin said in the lobby of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, has been a frequent critic of Madigan’s handling of harassment allegations. While not tying Kevin Quinn’s defense to the speaker, Cassidy called Kevin Quinn’s rebuttal “the oldest trick in the book.”“Just another offensive tactic from the old playbook that aims to discredit and undermine women who come forward,” Cassidy said. “Women considering speaking out should not let Mr. Quinn’s despicable behavior deter them.”Contributing: Jon Seidel