Illinois Capitol Building

Illinois Capitol Building (State of Illinois photo by Jay Barnard)

Local lawmakers, the Governor, and others are calling for an investigation into an e-mail discussing an alleged rape cover up.

The message, sent by a lobbyist back in 2012, was unearthed by WBEZ in Chicago and references a state employee who allegedly stayed silent about ghost payrolling and a rape in Champaign a number of years ago.

The report indicated ex-lobbyist Michael McClain, a close friend to House Speaker Mike Madigan, urged two top aides to then-Gov. Pat Quinn to avoid firing the worker, also telling them the man was politically “loyal” to Quinn and stayed silent about "ghost workers."

Numerous statements were released after the report surfaced, including from Madigan's office, where the house speaker said he had no knowledge of the incident and called the allegations, "extremely serious and troubling."

Governor JB Pritzker spoke Thursday, calling the e-mail "horrific" and says he's sent the matter to the state's inspector general.

Meanwhile, WBEZ reports that GOP House Minority Leader Jim Durkin sent a letter to the speaker Wednesday seeking special legislative hearings that could compel McClain and the former Quinn officials to testify about the case. However, after meeting with the governor Madigan responded saying that the legislature should not interfere and instead, the inspector general should complete the investigation.

Locally, statements were made from members of both parties. Democratic Sen. Linda Holmes of Aurora and Republican Sen. Sue Rezin of Morris, who co-chair the Senate Women’s Caucus called the e-mail in a joint statement, "horrifying," "stunning" and "disturbing," saying sexual assault will not be tolerated and that investigation needs to be thoroughly done.

Others, like Republican State Rep. Jeff Keicher of Sycamore, backed Durkin's call for a legislative investigation.