STATEMENT OF PHYLLIS McGINLEY
My name is Phyllis McGinley. I currently work at the Phoenix Theater in Chicago. I am 32 years old, and unmarried. I live in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago
at 601 Summer Street. I attended Prairie State College in Chicago Heights from 1986 to 1990 and majored in theater, but never graduated. I have no prior
criminal record, and was not the subject of any disciplinary action while in college. Since leaving from college, I have had four jobs. The first job was working
for a federally funded recreation program in the recreation department for the City of Muncie, Indiana. That job lasted about 18 months, and then the funding
ran out and the program was terminated. My second job was working for the Department of Parks and Recreations in the City of Bloomington. I worked there
until late YR-8. At that point, there was a similar secretarial job at a higher job classification offered in the Department of Human Resources, which I applied
for and obtained. I worked there until 1996, when I quit. My fourth job is my current one on the staff of the Phoenix Theater, where I do a little of everything.
I started working for the Department of Human Resources in the Fall of 1993. I don't remember the name of the director of the department at the time, but I do remember William Hunt. He became the director soon after I started working there and was the director throughout the remaining time I was there, which was until the summer of 1996. I stuck it out that long because the pay was good for a secretarial position. I was earning approximately $18,500 a year. I quit because I was sexually harassed by Will Hunt. At first, the harassment was subtle. Mr. Hunt seemed to watch me a lot in the office. After he had been director for a few weeks, he rearranged the department. He moved his desk and moved the secretarial desks so that he could see me from his office. He assigned me a desk out in the middle of the floor, which was visible from the open door of his office. While I was typing, I would get a creepy feeling that someone was looking at me, and when I turned my head I would see Mr. Hunt quickly look away or look down. After awhile, he began stopping by my desk a couple of times a day to talk to me about things that had nothing to do with work. Sometimes he would just say, "How's it going," or "Is the work going okay?" or other things like that. It wasn't so much what he said, it was the fact that he wouldn't look me in the eye when he was talking, but he would loom over me and look down at my body, sort of sizing me up from head to toe. It's distracting to talk to a man and have him not look at your face, but stare at your chest.
After a couple of months of this, Mr. Hunt got bolder. He started to tell me jokes and make statements with sexual references in them. He would say things like, "I'm getting a little behind in my work," emphasizing the word "behind," or "The computers keep going down, there's a lot of going down around here," or "We should have a staff meeting and see what comes up." When he made these statements he always made sure there was no one else around to hear them, and he would wink at me or grin. Then one day in the spring of 1996, in March or April, he touched me for the first time. The first time, I really thought it was accidental. I was leaning over the supply cabinet to get more envelopes, which are stored on the bottom shelf. The cabinet that holds them is near the entrance to Mr. Hunt's office. As I was leaning over, Mr. Hunt came out and bumped into my rear-end. He apologized, and said it was accidental. A few days later, when I was at the copy machine, he passed by. As he did so, he again brushed up against the back of my legs. A few days later, when he handed me some work, he reached out and touched my shoulder. At this point, I realized this was not any kind of accidental touching, and told him to stop it. He said he didn't know what I meant.
For the next couple of months, he left me alone. Part of the reason, I think, was that we got an attractive female intern who came to work for us for the summer. I do not recall her name, but she came from the University Business School. Mr. Hunt pursued her, and made sexual advances to her over the summer. I could tell by watching him that he was doing the same thing to her that he was doing to me. I would see him watching her, and I overheard a couple of times him using the same kind of corny sex joke that he used to tell to me. In late July, she simply stopped coming to the office. I asked the other summer intern, whose name I also do not remember, what had happened to her. The other intern, also female, told me that the one who had quit couldn't stand Mr. Hunt hitting on her anymore.
There were no incidents for awhile after that. However early in the fall, he started cornering me and telling me sex jokes again. I don't remember any specifics, but he probably told me one or two sexually related jokes a week. Just before Thanksgiving, he came up and asked me if I wanted to come over to his house for Thanksgiving Dinner. He said his wife and children were going to the in-laws, so he would be all alone. Then he said why didn't I come over for dinner, and help him stuff the turkey. Then he laughed like he was in elementary school, and walked off.
The last straw for me came right after Thanksgiving. He called me into his office and told me that his back hurt, and asked me if I would move some boxes on the floor from one place to another. There would have been no reason for me to do so other than for him to get some kind of kicks out of seeing me bend over. I told him there was no way I was going to do that bullshit, and that I was not going to put up with it any longer. Then I told him that I quit. I cleaned out my desk and left.
Throughout this time I approached several people in the city administration to complain about Mr. Hunt's conduct. I talked to Dr. Branch, the employee counselor. She told me it wasn't her job to deal with issues of sexual harassment. I talked to my former boss at the Department of Parks and Recreation, with whom I still had a good relationship. He told me there really wasn't anything he could do because it wasn't his department. He told me however that I should see Deputy Mayor Riley, who was in charge of sexual harassment issues. I went to see him in May, 1996, and complained. I went back when I saw that Mr. Hunt was doing the same thing to the intern, and told Mr. Riley that he was doing this to the intern. Mr. Riley seemed sympathetic, but clearly nothing ever happened. There was never a hearing, nobody ever did anything about it, and Mr. Hunt was never reprimanded or told to stop. It was clear to me, based on my own experiences, that the City just didn't care about such things.