Madigan Chief of Staff accused of bullying, harassment

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CHICAGO (WAND)  - A Madigan staff member has come forward about harassment by Chief of Staff Tim Mapes. 

The employee said there have been repeat incidents of bullying and harassment on Wednesday. 

Sherri Garrett chose to speak out after many years of harassment and bullying. 

“I have decided to come forward because we have a serious and pervasive problem in our state government, and I could no longer remain silent about my own mistreatment,” said Garrett, who resides in Springfield. “My hope is that by coming forward, I can help to create space for others to do the same.” “I want to make sure that the workplace environment is better in the future for our daughters, and our sons,” she said. “We need to force fundamental change--not just lip service, not a quick hit solution, but real cultural transformation.” 

Garrett said that in the spring of 2013 former State Rep. Ken Dunkin approached the House Well and said to her and another woman - "I want to take both of you home and see which one will be the naughtiest.” The incident was reported but Mapes didn't take action on the claim. 

In December 2014, Garrett was discussing proper drop-off location and in the middle of the conversation Mapes said that Garrett needed to make sure she wasn't showing her "pink bra" to the judge on Inauguration Day, because he "knows how us girls on the second floor like to leave little to the imagination." Garrett said there was no context for the comment and she found it entirely inappropriate. 

Just hours after the news of Mapes came out he resigned under Madigan's direction. 

“Regarding Ms. Garrett’s concerns shared earlier today, neither I or the House Democratic Ethics Officer had been made aware of Ms. Garrett’s complaints against Tim Mapes," Madigan said in a statement. "My office was aware of the comments made by then Representative Dunkin and took action to handle the matter. That issue had been disclosed publicly earlier this year by my office along with all other known allegations of harassment. It is clear that the culture needs to change and we need to ensure all issues are dealt with quickly and appropriately."

Jessica Basham was named chief of staff for the Office of the Speaker, effective immediately. 

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