In wake of harassment scandal, Dodge says voters need to 'decide what kind of leadership they want in Springfield'
Jim Dodge, the Republican candidate for state treasurer, can see a point in time in which the voters of Illinois have to take on the job of being the judge and jury in the growing sexual harassment scandal now engulfing Springfield.
“If something inappropriate violating criminal law or ethical rules happened, the system needs to work to take care of that,” Dodge told the Prairie State Wire. “Short of that, it may be just a case where voters have to decide what kind of leadership they want in Springfield going forward.”
The latest controversy centers on House Speaker Mike Madigan’s longtime chief of staff, Tim Mapes, who was forced out after fellow Madigan staffer Sherri Garrett stepped forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and bullying.
Mapes is the fourth senior staffer or close associate of Madigan to be hit with such accusations, including Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), his No. 2 man in Springfield.
“I don’t think most people in Illinois are surprised by this,” Dodge said. “With Illinois politics being what it is, I think most people know [that] Springfield is a political environment all about itself and for itself. It’s all about who has the power.”
While Dodge said he could never see Madigan (D-Chicago) personally doing any of the things that some of his top associates have been accused of, he added that he thinks he has to bare a measure of responsibility for at least some of what allegedly has happened.
“For this to keep coming up, there has to be something there,” he said. “And with that, you have to ask the question of what kind of culture or leadership has he created.”
More recently, Madigan announced that he has commissioned an all-female search committee to choose Mapes’ replacement as executive director of the state's Democratic Party. Among the group of 18 is state Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago), who is Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker’s running mate.