Illinois Dem Suspected of Bribery After Federal Investigation

Barack Obama and then-Illinois House speaker Michael Madigan / Getty Images
July 20, 2020

A federal investigation implicated the Democratic speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives in a bribery scheme, Fox News reported Monday.

Though not named in the official report, House Speaker Michael Madigan, who also chairs the state's Democratic Party, is suspected to have close ties with utility company ComEd. The company faces a $200 million fine for giving kickbacks by way of jobs and contracts to "various associates of a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois." A federal court filing confirmed that Madigan was the official.

"The speaker has a lot that he needs to answer for, to authorities, to investigators, and most importantly, to the people of Illinois," said Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker. "If these allegations of wrongdoing by the speaker are true, there is no question that he will have betrayed the public trust and he must resign."

No official charges have yet been brought against Madigan, though state Democratic Party officials promised his full cooperation.

Madigan has deep ties to Illinois Democrats. In addition to chairing the state party, he has served in the state legislature since 1971. He is the longest-serving state house speaker in the country. His daughter also previously served as the state's attorney general.

Democratic politicians in Illinois have faced similar corruption charges in the past. Former governor Rod Blagojevich served eight years in prison on the pretense of attempting to sell President Obama's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. President Trump commuted Blagojevich's sentence in February.

Published under: Democrats , Illinois