More agencies join investigation into possible Illinois rape cover-up

Capitol Connection

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — More agencies are now involved in the investigation into a possible rape cover up connected to a close friend of House Speaker Mike Madigan.

It’s only been two days since emails were uncovered by WBEZ in Chicago, showing statehouse lobbyist and close friend of Speaker Michael Madigan, Michael McClain, asking an aide to former-Governor Pat Quinn to let a man keep his job because he stayed quiet about “the rape in Champain.”

According to WBEZ, in a email obtained by the outlet, McClain urged against firing state worker Forrest Ashby, who “kept his mouth shut” about “the rape in Champaign and other items.”

McClain’s letter to Gov. Quinn’s legislative affairs liaison, Gary Hannig, on behalf of state worker Forrest Ashby, says, “This man is a good compliance person, as I told you. The AG’s office and the Sheriff’s love working with him. He has kept his mouth shut on Jones’ ghost workers, the rape in Champaign and other items. He is loyal to the Administration.”

Former Gov. Quinn reportedly told WBEZ that he did not know Ashby or anything about a disciplinary case against him.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Madigan said, “These are extremely serious and troubling allegations. I had no knowledge of the incident referenced in the story and only learned of this today. I encourage those with any information to come forward. ”

Today, the Illinois State Police and the Champaign State’s Attorney said they will be cooperating with the investigation.

State Police Director Brendan Kelly said his agency will be looking into all criminal matters related to the case.

Senate Republican leader Bill Brady called on him to do so yesterday.

Champaign’s State’s Attorney, Julia Rietz, said, “I am also aware that the matter has been referred to the Office of the Executive Inspector General and will cooperate with their investigation as needed.”

McClain is currently a part of an ongoing federal investigation into his former client, Commonweath Edison, and the company’s efforts to win rate increases in Springfield, WBEZ reports.

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