As we reported, embattled Mayor Ann Taylor was found to have engaged in sexual harassment of a city employee. An investigation found Taylor spread false rumors alleging a long time female city employee was engaging in affairs with multiple men. Since Taylor did not apologize, legal action ensued. Between the cost of the investigation and ultimately a settlement, the cost to tax payers is at least $130,000.

When Taylor was running for mayor, she spread the false rumors and cited them claiming she needed to be elected in order to clean up the “chaos.” Taylor also intended to talk about the affair at a debate, distribute it in campaign literature and “get the word out there.”

The rumors created a hostile work environment and diminished the woman’s reputation. The employee who is married reported this to the city attorney and an investigator was brought in. Yvette Heintzelman of the firm Clark Baird and Smith who is a recognized authority on employment matters conducted an investigation and issued a report finding Taylor did in fact spread the rumors on multiple occasions and those rumors were false. Heintzelman also made a set of recommendations, including that Taylor apologize.

Taylor won the race to become mayor before Heintzelman’s investigation concluded. After action was not taken, the employee filed a discrimination complaint based on sex and retaliation with the Illinois Dept of Human Rights. With the hostile work environment, she also could not continue in her job with the city and left employment.

Pursuant to the IDHR complaint, the city and the employee entered mediation. By December, the employee, Mayor Taylor and the City of Waukegan reached an agreement. Under the agreement, the employee who was sexually harassed by Taylor would receive a total sum of $98,000. With the approximately $30,000 paid to Heintzelman for the investigation, Taylor’s sexual harassment cost tax payers at least $130,000. There is also an unknown amount of money the city paid for legal representation during mediation.

Mayor Ann Taylor could have shown decency and not engaged in rumor mongering to bolster her political campaign in the first place. Short of that, she could have issued an apology for her inappropriate behavior. Instead, she chose not to which ultimately cost you.