July 28, 2016

Tammy Duckworth Brings Illinois Scandal To DNC Stage

With a cloud of corruption and unrest hanging over the coronation of scandal-plagued Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, organizers have worked overtime to pack the Wells Fargo center with speakers who bring their own political liabilities to the stage (see exhibits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7), including Illinois Democratic senate candidate Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

Just yesterday, two whistleblowers who worked for Duckworth in the Illinois Veterans Affairs Department rejected her offer to settle their workplace harassment and retaliation suit after being “insulted” by Duckworth’s campaign. The Daily Herald reported:

Plaintiffs Denise Goins and Christine Butler told the Daily Herald Wednesday that they were insulted by the Duckworth campaign’s June 24 response to the settlement, with deputy campaign manager Matt McGrath releasing a statement describing the suit as ‘a frivolous workplace case’ that dragged on for more than eight years. ‘Within an hour of leaving the courthouse, her campaign decided to swing us through the mud again,’ Butler said. ‘So we emailed our attorney to let him know we want to proceed to trial.’”

The timing couldn’t be worse for Duckworth. The bungled settlement deal would have prevented the dirty details from coming out in the weeks leading up to November’s election.

Now, Duckworth’s former employees’ allegations that their jobs were threatened after reporting an administrator at a VA home for allowing politicking in the workplace will come to light during a trial. For example, one of the whistleblowers reported that when she returned from maternity leave she found her desk “trashed” and was greeted with a list of new rules that included asking permission to leave for lunch.

Duckworth, who was appointed to the VA position by disgraced and imprisoned former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, has tried to brush off the scandal as “common to the head of any agency,” but most agency heads don’t have to try and settle whistleblower lawsuits.

The trial is set for August 15, 2016 – less than three months before Election Day.