Madigan fires political consultant after inappropriate texts

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan photo from the Illinois House of Representatives

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has dismissed a long-time political consultant after an investigation found he sent inappropriate text messages to a colleague.

Madigan identified the consultant as Kevin Quinn in a statement Monday.

Madigan attorney Heather Wier Vaught (WYR’ VAWT’) says the woman is a political consultant not employed by Madigan.

Vaught says Quinn texted the woman seeking a date in 2016. There were fewer than a dozen texts but they continued after the woman told Quinn she wasn’t interested.

A message left at a telephone number listed to Quinn was not returned.

Campaign records show that Madigan-affiliated political committees have paid Quinn $513,000 since 1999.

The woman came forward in November as Madigan was pressing legislation to clearly define sexual harassment as a state ethics-code violation.

Excerpt of entire Madigan statement issued Monday:

“In November, a courageous woman made me aware that a high-ranking individual within my political operation had previously made unwanted advances and sent her inappropriate text messages. I immediately consulted with my attorney, Heather Wier Vaught, and directed her to conduct a thorough investigation.
“Ms. Wier Vaught conducted numerous interviews, reviewed the evidence, and recently came to the conclusion that the individual engaged in inappropriate conduct and failed to exercise the professional judgment I expect of those affiliated with my political organizations and the Office of the Speaker.
“As a result, long-time aide Kevin Quinn is no longer an employee of any of my political committees. Mr. Quinn has worked with my political offices for nearly 20 years. While this is the only allegation of such conduct, Mr. Quinn also recently pled guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Based on the culmination of events, Alderman Marty Quinn and I decided that Kevin should no longer be affiliated with the political organization. For the record, Kevin was previously an employee of my State office, and he will not be returning to that role.
“Further, Ms. Wier Vaught made several recommendations aimed at preventing inappropriate behavior and improving methods for reporting and responding to such allegations. My political committees are actively taking steps to implement those recommendations.