Lawmakers seek independent probe of House Speaker Madigan's office

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Three women Democratic state representatives are calling for an independent investigation of House Speaker Michael Madigan's office.

Thursday's announcement comes a day after an employee accused Madigan's chief of staff of making lewd comments and mishandling complaints of sexual harassment. Tim Mapes resigned, making him the second top Democratic leader forced out in less than a week.

Madigan said Wednesday he'd appoint an investigator to review all House operations.

But Reps. Kelly Burke of Oak Lawn, Ann Williams of Chicago and Deb Conroy of Villa Park say the investigation should be independent.

The representatives are part of the newly-formed House Democratic Women's Caucus. They say the allegations show the "culture surrounding Illinois government and politics must change."

A Madigan spokesman said he couldn't comment because he hadn't seen the lawmakers' statement.

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