FBI raids home of former top Madigan political operative

Chicago Tribune |

--Federal agents have raided the Far South Side home of Kevin Quinn, a former top political operative for House Speaker Michael Madigan and brother of the 13th Ward alderman, the Tribune has learned.

The FBI executed a search warrant in mid-May at Quinn's home in the 10300 block of South California Avenue in the West Beverly neighborhood, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.

It's unclear what information the agents were seeking or whether the raid stemmed from Quinn's past work with Madigan's powerful political organization. One source, however, told the Tribune federal agents had shown interest in computers and electronic equipment.

No charges have been filed against Quinn, 43, who could not be reached Wednesday. Messages left for Madigan's spokesman and lawyer were not returned.

The raid on Quinn's home comes amid ongoing corruption probes at City Hall, including the bombshell racketeering indictment filed late last month against Ald. Edward Burke, the council's longest-serving member who was accused of using his clout to steer business to his private law firm. Burke has pleaded not guilty.

Ex-Ald. Daniel Solis was revealed to have been wearing a wire for the FBI for two years as part of the Burke probe but has not been charged.

A 2016 FBI search warrant affidavit filed as part of the Solis investigation detailed an alleged effort by Solis to send legal work to Madigan from an undisclosed businessman seeking to develop a hotel in Chinatown. Madigan, who was secretly recorded pitching his property tax appeal services, has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners voted in December to refer to federal and county prosecutors a controversy involving the re-election bid of Kevin Quinn's brother, Marty.

The 13th Ward alderman's team tried to knock off the ballot challenger David Krupa, a teenage DePaul University student.

To do that, the alderman's campaign challenged Krupa's signatures and included affidavits from 2,796 residents who said they were revoking their signatures for Krupa. But only 187 of them matched signatures contained in Krupa's paperwork.

Krupa has since filed a federal lawsuit.

The revelation that Kevin Quinn is now under federal scrutiny follows a scandal that began in when a campaign worker accused Kevin Quinn of sexual harassment.

The campaign aide, Alaina Hampton, provided to the Tribune explicit texts sent to her by Kevin Quinn, including one in which he referenced a Facebook picture of Hampton in a bikini and called her "smoking hot."

Hampton repeatedly discouraged the overtures, saying she wanted to keep the relationship professional. The unwanted contact stopped after she informed his brother, Ald. Quinn, she said.

Kevin Quinn was quickly cut loose by Madigan from his roles in the speaker's political and state government operations just as Hampton was about to go public with her accusations.

Hampton later sued the state Democratic Party and Madigan-controlled campaign funds, alleging she was retaliated against for complaining about Kevin Quinn and denied further job opportunities with the party. The lawsuit is pending.

Kevin Quinn's name has also surfaced in a civil suit filed over the 2016 Democratic primary for Madigan's House seat. The case, brought by failed challenger Jason Gonzales, alleged the Madigan political operation put up two phony candidates with Hispanic-sounding names to confuse voters and draw votes away from Gonzales.

The Madigan team has denied the allegations, and the speaker himself contended Gonzales' candidacy was backed by then-Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, whose allies were among people who donated to the challenger's campaign.

In a sworn deposition given last July, Kevin Quinn recounted an unusual maneuver where his brother gave him the go-ahead to call Charlie Hernandez -- a Cicero politician who's married to Democratic state Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez -- about the possibility of having Joe Barboza run against Madigan.

"I had simply reached out to Charlie to see if Joe had an interest," Kevin Quinn said in the deposition, according to a transcript obtained by the Tribune. "I never heard back from Charlie."

Barboza has denied he was a "sham" candidate.

Kevin Quinn, meanwhile, has been going through contentious divorce proceedings initiated by his wife in Cook County Circuit Court in , records show.

Last year, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct stemming from an argument with his wife the previous summer, according to court records. He later was convicted by a judge of violating an order of protection that restricts his communication with his wife.

jmeisner@chicagotribune.com

rlong@chicagotribune.com

___

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