After a series of caucus votes, Illinois House Democrats have finally chosen Representative Chris Welch to be the next Speaker of the House. Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider released the following statement in response:
“House Democrats have chosen to go from Mike Madigan, the most corrupt politician in America, to Rep. Chris Welch, a top Madigan lieutenant who has been credibly accused by multiple women in court documents of harassment, assault, and retaliation.
It’s now clear that House Democrats are doubling down on allowing Madigan’s corrupt machine to continue running state government. In Madigan’s stead, they have promoted a serial harasser and assaulter of women. But in spite of that, Welch passed the most important test this fall – he’s been a loyal Madigan ally for years but performed most recently as Madigan’s human shield in legislative hearings investigating the sweeping corruption scandal that ultimately brought Madigan down.
This decision is a travesty for the people of Illinois, and we will make sure every voter understands that House Democrats just can’t quit Madigan.”
Welch a top Madigan Ally
“Madigan loyalist Rep. Welch a front-runner to replace longtime House speaker”
Rep. Welch is a Madigan Loyalist indeed. In just the most recent example, Welch headed up the House investigative committee formed last year to look into Mike Madigan’s role in the ComEd bribery scheme involving multiple Madigan lieutenants. The Chicago Sun-Times reported “[the] committee looking into Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s dealings with ComEd did not find he did anything wrong in a vote that split along party lines, concluding its work after convening three times and hearing from one witness.”
You read that right. The committee met a total of three times and interviewed one witness. Welch performed his duty as a human shield for his boss Mike Madigan, refusing to subpoena the Speaker and allowing him to not testify.
In the aftermath, Mark Brown of the Sun-Times wrote, “[a] trio of Illinois House Democrats dug in their heels, buried their heads firmly in the sand and did their best Tuesday to ignore a litany of damning evidence against House Speaker Michael Madigan.”
That trio of House Democrats was led by Rep. Chris Welch.
Alaina Hampton, former Madigan staffer who sued the Speaker for retaliation, said it best when she tweeted about the news of Welch’s ascension: “Madigan 2.0”
Welch Accused of Assault, Harassment, and Retaliation
If being a top Madigan loyalist wasn’t enough, Rep. Welch over the years has also been credibly accused in court documents of assault, harassment, and retaliation against women.
“A 2002 police report indicates that officers in west suburban Hillside were called to Welch’s home, where an ex-girlfriend told them that Welch slammed her head into a kitchen countertop numerous times after she called him “a loser.” The woman did not press charges after talking it over with a relative of Welch’s, the report states.”
“Welch also faced a 2010 federal lawsuit for sexual harassment and retaliation in which a different woman alleged she lost her job at Proviso Township High School District because she broke up with him while he was president of the school board.”
“Welch was also the subject of two harassment/retaliations suits, one the Trib details, but another that was filed pro se in 2011/terminated in 2012 from the former Dean of Students at Proviso West, who claims she was punished for not hugging him when he was School Board [President]”
Rep. Welch released a statement but did not deny the allegations.
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