Speaker Madigan hires officer to combat sexual harassment following resignations

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he will hire a human resources director and officer for equal employment opportunity and affirmative action to combat sexual harassment.

In a statement, it was announced Madigan and new chief of staff Jessica Basham will conduct a search. They say the employee will “promote a fair, equitable and unbiased work environment” for the speaker’s 200 employees.

The Chicago Democrat hired the 37-year-old Basham last week after Timothy Mapes resigned amid accusations of inappropriate remarks to women and a dismissive attitude toward complaints of sexual harassment.

Mapes resigned less than a week after Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie resigned as deputy majority leader after a complaint of sexual harassment and intimidation .

Basham is holding meetings with staff and lawmakers to update them on developments.

[sharify]