State Watch

Ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan indicted in corruption probe

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Former Illinois House of Representatives Speaker Michael Madigan was indicted on Wednesday on federal racketeering charges that allege he participated in a host of bribery schemes aimed at using his position in public office for personal gain.

A 22-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury, The Chicago Tribune reported, the result of a years-long investigation of the longtime Democrat politician, who was for decades one of the most powerful lawmakers in Illinois. 

Madigan was state House speaker for 35 years. He resigned last year amid the bribery investigation.

A longtime confident of Madigan’s, Michael McClain, was also indicted. 

The indictment returned Wednesday indicates that the utility company Commonwealth Edison, also known as ComEd, intended to pay thousands to lobbyists in order to gain Madigan’s favor over legislation the company wanted passed.

He is also accused of trying to illegally solicit business for his law firm while in office, according to the Tribune. Madigan’s office was also under investigation related to a “Me Too” movement scandal.  

Madigan has previously denied any wrongdoing.

“It’s no secret that I have been the target of vicious attacks by people who sought to diminish my many achievements lifting up the working people of Illinois,” Madigan has said. “The fact is, my motivation for holding elected office has never wavered. I have been resolute in my dedication to public service and integrity, always acting in the interest of the people of Illinois.”

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