On Wednesday, March 2, former Democratic Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan was indicted on federal racketeering conspiracy and bribery charges following a federal probe into political corruption in the state of Illinois. Also named in the indictment is longtime Madigan confidante Michael McClain. A joint press conference held by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) outlined the indictment.
The charges are related to Madigan’s alleged role in a conspiracy linked to lobbying practices during his decades-long tenure as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. The indictment accuses Madigan of leading a criminal enterprise to enhance his political power and financial well-being. In addition to the previous allegations that Madigan and McClain sought jobs, contracts, and money for Madigan’s associates from ComEd, the indictment reveals a new scheme involving Chicago City Council Member Danny Solis. Madigan allegedly agreed to help Solis land a spot on a state board paying at least $93,926 after his retirement from City Council.
According to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, who was leading the investigation of Madigan, “The indictment alleges a long-term, multifaceted scheme to use public positions for unlawful private gain.”
The U.S. Justice Department said, “Madigan and McClain allegedly caused various businesses, including the utility company Commonwealth Edison, to make monetary payments to Madigan’s associates as a reward for their loyalty to Madigan, at times in return for performing little or no legitimate work for the businesses.”