Lou Lang Announces Resignation as House Deputy Majority Leader Following Harassment Allegations

Lou Lang
Former Illinois Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (Source: Illinois.gov)
By: Rosemary Piser

Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) announced his resignation yesterday after a legislative activist alleged he harassed and humiliated her. Lang claims the allegations are “absurd.”

Lang has submitted his resignation as the No. 3 House Democrat and from the House Ethics Committee.

Maryann Locar, a medical marijuana activist who interacted with Lang over the past four years, came forward with allegations of harassment. Locar also claims the alleged harassment began because she overheard a bribe offered to Lang and two other lawmakers by a Lake County company that was seeking and was later denied a medical marijuana license. The license was subsequently denied and the company has filed a lawsuit.

Lang released the following statement regarding the resignation:

“Let me say this. My original sponsorship of medical marijuana legislation in 2013 was focused on the patients who came to my office, some in wheel chairs. Some were too ill to come. The sick children, the ill men and women were my priority. And the patients remain my priority with each new iteration of the law. My priority was not helping those seeking to profit off medical marijuana, like, Ms. Loncar, who wanted a cannabis dispensary license for her company, Patient’s Health Center, but, apparently failed at her money-making effort to secure a dispensary license. Because I refused to let the medical marijuana profiteers trump the interests of patients, I made some people mad. So be it. Therefore, I have submitted a formal request to the Special Legislative Inspector General to begin an immediate investigation. Additionally, after consultation with Speaker Madigan, I have decided, in order to maintain the integrity of the Legislative Ethics Commission and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules as well as to avoid distraction from the agenda of the House Democratic Caucus, to submit my resignation from the Commission, JCAR, and from my post as House Deputy Majority Leader.”

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement:

“I appreciate the courage it takes for individuals to come forward to share their experiences, and in doing so urge us all to do better.

“Representative Lang has already requested that the legislative inspector general immediately conduct a full investigation of these allegations and I’m hopeful she will conduct this investigation quickly and thoroughly. After consultation with me, Representative Lang has submitted his resignation from House leadership, as well as from the Legislative Ethics Commission and the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules.”

Sources: ABC News, Office of House Speaker Madigan

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