Share the article: Misconduct Runs Rampant in IL Senate Dem Caucus

Harmon remains silent on Senator Hastings as Emil Jones III becomes the 4th Illinois Senator to be indicted since 2019

Deputy Majority Leader and Senator Emil Jones III was hit with federal bribery charges this week, alleging that he took a $5,000 bribe from a firm that installed red light cameras, making him the fourth federally indicted Senate Democrat in the last few years. Emil Jones III’s indictment also marks the second high-profile misconduct allegation against a member of Harmon’s leadership team in as many months. 

“These are grave allegations,” Harmon said in the statement regarding Jones III. “Members of the Senate and all public officials need to hold themselves to a high ethical standard for the public to have trust and faith in our work.”

Unfortunately for Illinois taxpayers those ethical standards apparently don’t apply to another member of President Harmon’s leadership team, Senator Michael Hastings who used taxpayer funds to settle a case involving “accusations of racial and gender discrimination” from his former Chief of Staff. In addition to spending $150,000 of taxpayer money to settle his harassment claims, Hastings faces additional grave allegations of domestic abuse from his wife including that he, “battered her, by placing her in a choke hold/neck restraint, and slammed her body into a door multiple times,” according to the police report obtained by the Edgar County Watchdogs.

Harmon has only made one public statement on the matter in two months, accepting his resignation from leadership. “‘Senator Michael E. Hastings has stepped down from his role on Senate Democrat Majority Caucus Whip. I have accepted this resignation and it is effective immediately. If you have any questions, please contact Jake Butcher, Chief of Staff,’ he said in writing to the Secretary of the Senate.”

Not exactly a reproach from President Harmon who has lauded himself a defender of victims of abuse and has no problem accepting praise for his support for domestic violence organizations.

“What is this ‘high ethical standard’ in today’s Democrat-controlled Senate?” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy. “Is everything short of a federal indictment and conviction ok? Senate President Harmon should call on Sen. Hastings and Sen. Jones III to resign.”

Harmon said of Hastings in July of 2021 after Hastings dropped out of the race for Secretary of State, “Though I am saddened the people of Illinois won’t benefit from the leadership and dedication to working families Senator Mike Hastings would bring to the office of Secretary of State, I’m happy that the people of the 19th District and our colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus will continue to have him fighting for Democratic values in the General Assembly.”


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