SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois State Police executed a search warrant at House Speaker Michael Madigan state Capitol offices this week as part of an investigation into sexual misconduct, stalking and other allegations against former state Rep. Jack Franks.
Police justified the search warrant, executed Wednesday, by saying "probable cause exists for the crimes of criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault, official misconduct, stalking and aggravated battery,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported. It sought personnel files that contain information related to the allegations against Franks, who hasn’t been charged and denies any wrongdoing.
In a statement Friday, Madigan’s office said it received a complaint in 2018 about alleged sexual harassment by a former state representative, investigated and found the complaint credible. Madigan's office said appropriate law enforcement agencies were informed the following year.
State Police contacted the office last week, the statement read, asking that the investigatory file be turned over.
“On January 29, 2020, the Illinois State Police executed a search warrant at the office to expedite receipt of documents related to the allegations, and documents were immediately provided,” the statement said. ”In addition, the alleged victim was notified of the search warrant the following day.”
Illinois State Police refused to comment on its investigation.
The allegations against Franks date to 2016, according to the speaker’s office. Franks, a Democrat from Marengo, served in the Illinois House from 1999 to 2017.
“In April of 2019, I received correspondence from the speaker’s office, which I quickly responded to with a full denial,” Franks told the Sun-Times. “Since then, I’ve heard nothing from the speaker’s office about the matter, and I know nothing about a search warrant. I haven’t been contacted about anyone about any matter, other than that letter nine months ago.”
The allegations involving Franks are the latest concerning sexual harassment that have embroiled Madigan’s office.
An investigation of sexual harassment in the office found that control has been too centralized and discourages complaints about mistreatment. A report Madigan ordered that was released last August found sufficient evidence to back up one complaint that Madigan’s former chief of staff, Timothy Mapes, made inappropriate sexual comments and intimidated employees.