Boss Madigan, ‘official A’, charged with 22 counts
(Capitol News Illinois file photo by Jerry Nowicki)
By JERRY NOWICKI
& GRACE KINNICUTT
Illinois Capitol News
Longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was charged by a federal grand jury on 22 counts on Wednesday for allegedly using his position as the top House Democrat to solicit “personal financial rewards” for himself and his associates, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
The former Democratic Party leader served as Speaker of the Illinois House for almost two years, from 1983 until his impeachment in January 2021. Throughout that time, he was widely seen as a more powerful political force than anyone in the state, including its governors.
Now Madigan, 79, is charged for “nearly a decade” with running “a criminal enterprise whose purpose was to enhance Madigan’s political power and financial well-being while generating revenue for his political allies and associates,” according to a press release. from the Chicago area U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“The indictment alleges a long-term, multi-faceted scheme to use public office for unlawful purposes, including unpresented or inconspicuous employment for Madigan’s political workers and private gain for Madigan himself. same,” said U.S. Attorney John Lausch, whose office led the investigation. , said at a press conference. “The schemes describe the involvement of a head of state government, one of his close confidants, senior management of a major utility, consultants and others.”
Longtime Madigan confidant Michael McClain, whose home was raided by the FBI in May 2019 in what was one of the first public acts of a lengthy federal investigation, was also named in the act. of accusation.
McClain, who was at one time a lobbyist for utility giant Commonwealth Edison, “conducted illegal activities at the behest of Madigan,” according to Lausch’s office.
Madigan, widely known as the most cautious politician in the state, has notoriously avoided the use of electronic communications such as email and cell phones.
Laush did not directly respond to questions about whether wiretaps were used in the investigation of the ex-president.
“We use all the investigative tools we can… These are not specifically mentioned in the indictment,” he said. “But what you have are words that are used in conversations. You have words that are used in documents or on emails that are spelled out throughout the indictment. And that’s the heart of our case in this case. These are the words that are spoken by people. These are the things that appear on the documents, and these are the things that actually formed the basis of the charges that we made. »
It was in July 2020 when Lausch’s office first clarified that Madigan was being investigated without mentioning the former speaker’s name.
At that time, “the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and senior member of the House of Representatives” was named “Public Officer A” in a deferred prosecution agreement in which utility giant Commonwealth Edison acknowledged a year-long bribery system. .
While the name ‘Michael Madigan’ did not appear in the 38-page DPA, the court document made it clear that ComEd’s bribery scheme involved hiring close associates of the former president to gain his support for legislation. business friendly.
In May 2021, Madigan’s former chief of staff, Tim Mapes, was charged with obstruction of justice and lying under oath.
Now Madigan’s name appears at the top of a 106-page indictment, along with McClain’s, accusing the ex-president of 22 counts including racketeering and wire fraud charges, counts of charge that alone could result in up to 20 years in prison, Lausch said.
According to the indictment, Madigan also used his position as a Chicago 13th Ward committee member, chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party and the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, and his position on the cabinet of Chicago attorneys Madigan & Getzendanner to “advance the criminal’s goals”. business.”