Wehrli demands procedure for reporting sexual harassment
Lobbyist and activist Denise Rotheimer was one of the women who described her alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Illinois lawmakers during a recent House Personnel and Pensions Committee hearing.
Rotheimer accused Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) of sexual harassment and playing "mind games" with her when they worked together. She said she experienced such severe physical and mental reactions that she considered checking into a hospital.
Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) thanked the women who came forward at the hearing and said sexual harassment must never be tolerated.
“Moving forward, we must have a clear procedure in place where they, and those who witness the harassment, can immediately report the incident without fear for their safety or their livelihood,” Wehrli said in a statement.
The women who testified said they did not know to whom to report the harassment because the post of legislative inspector general has been vacant for several years.
Madigan submitted a bill increasing sexual harassment training, fines and whistleblower protections in part because of the hearing. The House was scheduled to it earlier this month.
For his part, Silverstein vehemently denied anything illegal took place.
“I apologize if I made her feel uncomfortable,” he said.