Sexual misconduct allegations rock statehouses

In Illinois alone, hundreds of women signed onto an open letter charging a pervasive predatory culture in the state capitol, prompting a public hearing that exposed a grossly neglected, nearly non-existent reporting system.

Already, one high-ranking Illinois lawmaker has been stripped of his leadership post — and mandatory training from an outside professional is likely to become legally required. An emergency meeting of an ethics commission is set for next week.

“Every industry has its own version of the casting couch. Illinois politics is no exception,” read the letter signed by women who work in the Illinois Capitol. “Ask any woman who has lobbied the halls of the Capitol, staffed Council Chambers, or slogged through brutal hours on the campaign trail. Misogyny is alive and well in this industry.”

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