Legislative activist claims Illinois senator harassed her

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A legislative activist has testified that a Chicago state senator sexually harassed her while she worked with him on a piece of legislation.

Denise Rotheimer (RAWTH’-eye-mur) told the House Personnel and Pensions Committee Tuesday that Democrat Ira Silverstein said her looks were “intoxicating” and sent her unwanted messages.

Rotheimer testified in favor Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan’s legislation requiring annual sexual harassment training for all lawmakers and lobbyists. She says she had an emotional breakdown in 2016, lost weight and her hair because of the “power” Silverstein had and the “mind games” he played.

Silverstein told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that “there were no mind games, no power struggle.” He apologized for making Rotheimer uncomfortable but says he was “just working the bill.”