Arellano speaks on Madigan's handling of sexual harassment complaint
The Illinois political scene is not immune to complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace, and recently House Speaker Michael Madigan has been criticized for how he handled one such complaint.
The complaint accused a Madigan political aide of subjecting a campaign worker to unwanted attention.
Liandro Arellano Jr., Dixon's mayor who had considered running for the state Senate, spoke up on the issue and what actions should have been taken in regards to Madigan's actions.
"Madigan should have retired years ago and allowed fresh voices to lead the state," Arellano said. "This is only the most recent of his missteps."
Arellano said Madigan's approach to politics and policy has, however, been far from appropriate for a long time.
"Madigan has built a win-at-all-costs culture that consistently overlooked how campaign workers and candidates were treated," Arellano said. "His mishandling actually started long ago. The culture of power over principles and people is what he built."
Arellano is distressed by the lack of attention that has been given to victims of sexual harassment in the past, but he believes that it needs to be a priority to create an environment in which individuals can break the silence.
"There clearly needs to be a better outlet for victims to speak out without damaging their lives and careers," Arellano said. "Problems that are addressed earlier are less likely to grow into the horrible trends we are seeing right now."
But this will not happen without a change in culture, Arellano said.
"Education, better independent response and investigations, and stricter enforcement could all play a role, but the culture itself is set by leadership," Arellano said.
Arellano had planned to run for the 45th Senate District seat held by Rep. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) up until December, when he pulled out of the race.