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NEW NRSC Web Video: Duckworth on Trial

“Tammy Duckworth was appointed to run the IDVA by corrupt former Governor Rod Blagojevich and her management of the department was straight out of the Blagojevich playbook,” said NRSC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek. “When Illinois’ veterans needed her most, Tammy Duckworth was too busy silencing whistleblowers to protect her own political career instead of working to improve conditions for veterans.”

BACKGROUND…

On August 4th, 2015, A Pre-Trial Hearing For Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s Whistleblower Lawsuit Is Scheduled To Take Place At The Union County Courthouse. (Union County Courthouse, Accessed 7/28/15)

On September 17, 2009, Christine Butler And Denise Goins, Illinois Department Of Veterans’ Affairs Staffers, Filed An Amended Lawsuit Alleging Duckworth And Patricia Simms Threatened And Harassed The Two Employees For Filing Complaints Against Simms. “The suit stems from Duckworth’s time at the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, which she led from December 2006 until early 2009, when she left for a federal veterans affairs post under President Barack Obama. In the suit, two workers at the Anna Veterans’ Home in far southern Illinois claim they received poor evaluations and were targets of harassment after filing complaints against the facility’s acting director, Patricia Simms, who is named as a defendant with Duckworth.” (Monique Garcia and Duaa Eldeib, “Walsh, Duckworth Skirmish Over Lawsuit,” Chicago Tribune, 10/11/12)

· Find A Copy Of The Lawsuit Here

The Lawsuit States Butler And Goins “Suffered Humiliation, Mental And Emotional Distress, As Well As Lost Wages And Benefits Of Employment” As “A Direct And Proximate Consequence Of Defendant Duckworth’s Acts.” (Christine Butler and Denise Goins vs. Tammy Duckworth and Patricia Simms, First Judicial Circuit, Union County, 9/17/09, pgs.17,21)

In April 2007, Butler Sent An E-Mail Directly To Duckworth Explaining How Simms’ Poor Management Choices Led To The Abuse Of A Veteran. “18. On April 18, 2007, Plaintiff Butler sent an e-mail communication to Defendant Duckworth regarding an incident in which five non-employees of the IDVA had come to the Ann Veterans Home the previous day and requested permission of Defendant Simms to provide care to one of the veteran residents of the Home. Defendant Simms had granted them permission to do so, despite the fact that there were obvious concerns about the appearance, hygiene, and conduct of the individuals – and Defendant Simms had not yet conducted a background check on them. By the next day, the five ostensible care-providers had become abusive, both to the veteran and a contractor working at the facility, as well as loud and disruptive, and were required to leave the facility.” (Christine Butler and Denise Goins vs. Tammy Duckworth and Patricia Simms, First Judicial Circuit, Union County, 9/17/09, p.6-7)

On May 3, 2007, Duckworth Fired Butler “Without Legitimate Cause Or Justification.” “On May 3, 2007, Defendant Duckworth and Defendant Simms met with Plaintiffs Butler and Goins, and other department heads, at the Anna Veterans Home. In a private meeting with Plaintiff Butler, Defendant Duckworth, without legitimate cause or justification, summarily discharged Plaintiff Butler, effective immediately.” (Christine Butler and Denise Goins vs. Tammy Duckworth and Patricia Simms, First Judicial Circuit, Union County, 9/17/09, p.9)

Duckworth Fired Butler For Being “Insubordinate” During A Meeting To Try And Settle The Dispute. “Eventually, Duckworth traveled to Anna to try to settle the dispute by meeting with Butler, Goins and Simms. In the suit, Butler claims Duckworth fired her on the spot, saying she had been ‘insubordinate.’ A few days later, Butler said, Duckworth rescinded her termination and instead placed her on paid administrative leave.” (Monique Garcia and Duaa Eldeib, “Walsh, Duckworth Skirmish Over Lawsuit,” Chicago Tribune, 10/11/12)

Duckworth “Intentionally Humiliated” Butler By Loudly Announcing Her Termination From The Office Then Calling For Security For Her Immediate Removal. “29. After discharging Plaintiff Butler, Defendant Duckworth intentionally humiliated Plaintiff Butler by announcing publicly, in a loud voice, at the Anna Veterans Home, that she had just terminated her, and calling for security. She did not allow her to conduct an exit interview at that time and required her to remove her personal belongings and be escorted out of the facility, during working hours, at that time.” (Christine Butler and Denise Goins vs. Tammy Duckworth and Patricia Simms, First Judicial Circuit, Union County, 9/17/09, p.10)

Duckworth Said She “Screwed Up In Firing” Christine Butler In An Internal Illinois Department Of Veterans’ Affairs Email. “Team, Christy Rios and I will be meeting early Monday before I leave for Quincy to gather our case for CMS ref Christy Butler. I need documentation from you, in a clear, user-friendly format to justify my decision to fire her. I screwed up in firing her since she actually is to be put on disciplinary leave first. Our next step with CMS is to explain why we need to terminate employment. Thank you.” (Director Tammy Duckworth, Internal Illinois Department Of Veterans’ Affairs E-Mail, 5/4/07)

After Firing Butler, Duckworth Met Privately With Goins, Telling Her “If You Do Your Job And Keep Your Mouth Shut And Concentrate On Job Duties, You Will Keep Your Job.” “31. On May 3, 2007, after publicly discharging Plaintiff Butler, Defendant Duckworth called Plaintiff Goins in for an individual meeting. During this meeting, Defendant Duckworth referred to her termination of Plaintiff Butler, and intentionally sought to prevent Plaintiff Goins from raising any further complaints, stating, ‘If you do your job and keep your mouth shut and concentrate on job duties, you will keep your job.’” (Christine Butler and Denise Goins vs. Tammy Duckworth and Patricia Simms, First Judicial Circuit, Union County, 9/17/09, p.11)

Duckworth’s Defense Is Being Paid For By Illinois Taxpayers…

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan Is Representing Duckworth. “Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is representing Duckworth, and has filed to have the case dismissed.” (Monique Garcia and Duaa Eldeib, “Walsh, Duckworth Skirmish Over Lawsuit,” Chicago Tribune, 10/11/12)