News Local/State

Silverstein Leaves Leadership Post After Sexual Harassment Allegations

Democratic State Sen. Ira Silverstein of Chicago.

State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) in a 2009 photo. Seth Perlman/AP

Chicago Democrat Ira Silverstein is resigning his leadership position in the Illinois Senate. That’s following accusations he sexually harassed an advocate working with him on a bill. 

Silverstein represents Lincolnwood, and parts of other towns in the north Chicago suburbs. 

He was publicly accused of harassing Denise Rotheimer last year.

She testified at a hearing this week about a pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the state capitol, saying Silverstein threatened to stop supporting her bill when he thought she had a boyfriend.

Silverstein apologized, but said he looks forward to the results of an investigation into the complaint.

He is staying in his Senate seat, though he’s stepping down as Majority Caucus Chair.

That post came with an annual stipend of nearly $21 thousand, on top of his legislative salary.

The complaint against Silverstein comes after an open letter was published last month detailing a pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the state capitol.