January 8, 2020
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, released the following statement in response to a WBEZ report uncovering emails between a former statehouse lobbyist and high-level employees of the Quinn administration that allude to a possible cover-up of rape by state employees.
“I am shocked, horrified, and disgusted to learn about emails from lobbyist Mike McClain that indicate he was aware of, or possibly complicit in, covering up a rape in Champaign, Illinois. We cannot and must not tolerate unethical and potentially criminal behavior involving those with influence in state government.
“Those in positions of public trust who have broken the law must be held accountable – this applies to everyone equally and without prejudice, no matter who they are. Our entire justice system is predicated on the idea that no one is above the law.
“As a legislator, a human rights attorney, and an advocate for victims of sexual violence, I demand that the questions of misconduct raised by these emails be investigated fully and, if found credible, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“This must end. I share in the sentiments expressed by my colleagues who have spoken out. I too am sickened by what I’ve learned. Anyone who has violated their ethical duty to serve the public in good faith should go – the sooner, the better. It’s time to end the toxic ‘old boys’ club’ culture wherein women are disposable, ethics only apply to some, and accountability for the powerful is nonexistent. A full investigation and appropriate subsequent legal action is the only way to truly address this issue.”