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Speaker Madigan Won’t Ask Sen. Silverstein to Resign Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

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Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has stopped short of calling for Sen. Ira Silverstein to resign following sexual harassment allegations against him from a female lobbyist.

Madigan commented to reporters about it after state lawmakers held their first sexual harassment training sessions on Wednesday.  The training included input from experts who say sexual harassment can often flourish in politics where power can contribute to a toxic or hostile work environment.

Earlier this week, three top Democrats running for Governor called on Senator Silverstein to resign.  Madigan wouldn’t go that far.

“Senator Silverstein should decide what Senator Silverstein wants to do,” he said.  “We did this training session. We’ve passed the legislation. Our resolve is to have our task force, chaired by Rep. Currie, to continue to work on this, to take suggestions and ideas, and just continue to work against a culture of abuse.”

Silverstein was pushed out of his leadership post in the state Senate, and Senate President John Cullerton apologized for allowing nearly 30 harassment complaints to sit in a folder without anyone to investigate them.

Senator Silverstein says he won’t talk to reporters until after he meets with Inspector General Julie Porter, who was appointed last week after lawmakers learned the post had gone unfilled for years.

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