Straub joins call for Silverstein to resign from Senate
Mickey Straub fears far too many lawmakers in Springfield view recent sexual harassment scandals as just another instance of business as usual.
“Anyone elected for public office should be held to the highest expectation of civil behavior,” Straub told the DuPage Policy Journal. “This has become all about politics. If (House Speaker Mike) Madigan (D-Chicago) needs votes he will keep someone on as long as he needs to.”
Straub is among those now calling for the immediate resignation of state Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) after victim rights advocate Denise Rotheimer recently stepped forward to publicly accuse him of harassment, ultimately leading to him being forced to step down from his majority caucus chair.
After the allegations became public, lawmakers quickly moved to install Julie Porter as legislative inspector general. Before Porter was tabbed, the post responsible for investigating all complaints of ethics violations in Springfield languished unfilled for nearly two years.
“That’s a good first step, but more has to be done,” Straub said of Porter’s appointment. “I don’t get the feeling that from the top down everyone is so remorseful and disgusted. Everyone is just apologizing, but not enough is being done.”
Straub, who recently launched a bid to unseat House Republican leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in the 82nd District, said the creation of a task force to further deal with the issue and proposed legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations for harassment complaints are also steps in the right direction, but again much more needs to follow.
In a statement, Staub recently pointed an accusatory finger directly at Madigan and Durkin.
“Once again, Jim Durkin aligned himself with Speaker Mike Madigan at the expense of conservatives and the citizens he was elected to represent,” Straub said in a press release. “If I was in a position of leadership in Springfield, I’d be shouting from the rooftops that Sen. Silverstein shouldn’t just be stripped of his leadership role, he should be forced to resign and escorted to the parking lot.”
Meanwhile, Rotheimer recently told the Chicago Sun-Times she has yet to be formally contacted by anyone about her complaint.
The newspaper added while Durkin’s office recently declined to comment on the situation, Madigan spokesman Steve Brown argued he took the “appropriate” actions.
In all, as many as 27 complaints of harassment are reported to have been filed while the inspector general post remained unfilled.
“Quick action has to be taken and the statement has to come from the top down,” Straub said.
The 82nd District covers parts of Cook, DuPage and Will counties, including Darien, Homer Glen, Lemont and Willowbrook.