CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Republican leaders have been putting pressure on House Speaker Michael Madigan to investigate a possible rape cover-up. But on Thursday, the speaker said he would not do it.
E-mails from 2012 show Mike McClain mentioned the cover-up of a ‘rape in Champaign’ to protect a state employee from being fired. The e-mail was to former Pat Quinn Chief of Staff Jerry Stermer and top aid Gary Hannig. McClain is a politician turned lobbyist who is a known confidant of Madigan.
“First of all the subject of this e-mail is horrific,” says Governor J.B. Pritzker “You can’t read this e-mail and not see a lot of things wrong.”
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin sent a letter to Madigan Wednesday asking for the three men attached to the e-mail to be subpoenaed. Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign wanted to see it happen, but he is worried a subpoena may not be enough.
“I would encourage them to do it,” says Bennett. “The problem with it is there’s not much teeth behind a state legislature subpoena.”
Bennett wants State Police to investigate and any relevant information handed over to the Champaign County State’s Attorney.
In the house, only Madigan can issue a subpoena. In his response, he dismissed any possibility of the Administration Committee convening to look into the matter, which offers some temporary cover for his friend McClain.
“Any investigation should be handled by the appropriate investigative entities without interference from the General Assembly,” says Madigan.
Pritzker has referred the case to the Inspector General. He is waiting to see their findings before making a judgement.
“In order to get the answers, we’ve got to do an investigation,” says Pritzker. “We’ve got to figure out what the real facts are.”
Both Bennett and Pritzker are still hoping someone with information will come forward.
“To think that someone could actually say, ‘Let’s give this person a break because they kept information away from someone involved in a rape,'” says Bennett. “That’s sickening.”
Durkin said in an e-mail to other House Republicans this afternoon he is disappointed, but not surprised Madigan rejected their call for a House investigation.
McClain is in the middle of another investigation. The FBI raided his home in May. The Speaker’s close friend is at the center of the federal corruption investigation into unlawful lobbying practices.