Discrimination lawsuit against Saint Anthony alleges pay-to-play schemes involving Sandoval, Madigan

The allegations are found in an 18-page complaint filed last month by Stella Sosa Wolf, who it said served as Saint Anthony Hospital’s chief human resource officer and vice president of human resources between June 2016 and June 2020.

SHARE Discrimination lawsuit against Saint Anthony alleges pay-to-play schemes involving Sandoval, Madigan
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A federal lawsuit claiming gender discrimination and retaliation at Saint Anthony Hospital contains additional allegations of pay-to-play schemes at the Southwest Side facility involving the late state Sen. Martin Sandoval and former House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The allegations are found in an 18-page complaint filed last month by Stella Sosa Wolf, who it said served as Saint Anthony Hospital’s chief human resource officer and vice president of human resources between June 2016 and June 2020.

“Despite her outstanding performance and service to the hospital, Wolf could not overcome [Saint Anthony’s] gender biased, politically corrupt, and retaliatory employment practices, which ultimately resulted in her termination,” it states.

The hospital does not comment on pending litigation or “debate speculative claims,” said Ryan B. Jacobson, an attorney and spokesman for Saint Anthony Hospital.

“We deny any wrongdoing, and fully expect the evidence will prove Ms. Wolf’s accusations are unfounded, if not entirely fabricated,” Jacobson said in a statement.

A Madigan spokeswoman did not immediately comment. Craig Tobin, who had represented Sandoval in a separate federal lawsuit, told the Chicago Sun-Times, “I’m unable to make a comment because my former client’s deceased.

“I do find it a little incredulous that those types of direct statements would have been made,” Tobin said, adding that Sandoval was “not a novice, politically.”

Wolf’s lawsuit was earlier reported by lawstreetmedia.com and the CapitolFax blog.

Sandoval pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges early in 2020, acknowledging he’d “engaged in corrupt activities with other public officials” and took more than $250,000 “in bribes as part of criminal activity that involved more than five participants.” He died in December.

Madigan has also been under scrutiny as part of a federal bribery investigation involving ComEd. He has not been criminally charged and denies wrongdoing.

Wolf’s lawsuit alleges Saint Anthony CEO Guy Medaglia “frequently subjected his female subordinates to explosive tirades and outbursts creating a work environment beset with fear and intimidation.” It said Wolf’s professional relationship with Medaglia deteriorated, and he often blamed her for problems beyond her control, such as the lack of state financial support.

The lawsuit said Wolf opposed Medaglia’s June 2019 instruction to create two “unnecessary” positions for Sandoval’s adult children, as well as for his daughter’s boyfriend, in exchange for a $5.5 million state grant Sandoval secured for the hospital. It said Medaglia circumvented Wolf, and the hospital eventually made the hires. Saint Anthony was awarded a second $5.5 million state grant paid out Sept. 17, 2019, according to the lawsuit.

Federal officials raided Sandoval’s home and offices, including in the state Capitol in Springfield, one week later.

Medaglia also allegedly said that summer that Madigan had asked the hospital to replace its existing insurance broker with his son, Andrew Madigan. Medaglia allegedly told Wolf to share the hospital’s rates with the younger Madigan so that he could undercut them.

Wolf objected and sought three competitive bids, according to her lawsuit. In the end, she recommended remaining with the current broker. But her lawsuit claims Medaglia then blamed her for a lack of financial support from the state in a leadership meeting, noting that Sandoval by then faced federal charges and Madigan was “not happy with us.”

Contributing: Rachel Hinton

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