Pramaggiore already had resigned virtually all her other civic and corporate board seats since her sudden departure in October from ComEd parent Exelon. Motorola Solutions was her last major directorship, and she held important roles on that board, which she first joined in 2013.
She chaired the board’s compensation and leadership committee, always one of the most important panels on any corporate board. And she was one of just four members of the executive committee, which is tasked with ensuring the company follows board directives in between meetings.
Her exit, though, isn’t a surprise. Not after Pramaggiore emerged as a central figure in ComEd’s years-long efforts to pay off numerous close associates and political lieutenants of the powerful state House speaker in the deferred-prosecution agreement the utility reached a week ago with the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago.
That included spending more than two years to place Juan Ochoa, a Madigan ally, on ComEd’s board over the initial opposition of other senior executives at Exelon, according to the federal document. Michael McClain, a long-time ComEd lobbyist and close friend of Madigan, repeatedly pressed Pramaggiore for the appointment, which would pay Ochoa $78,000 a year, the document stated.
Eventually, she prevailed, and Ochoa was appointed in April 2019. He left quietly earlier this year, presumably after the feds came to ComEd and Exelon with their information on how Ochoa joined the board.
Departing the Motorola board is the final symbol of how far Pramaggiore has fallen since ComEd became central to federal prosecutors’ investigation of political corruption in Illinois. Before the trouble at ComEd first surfaced last summer, she was the executive in charge of all of Exelon’s regulated utilities, including large companies in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and was regarded as a potential successor to Exelon CEO Chris Crane.
She also was one of the most prominent female business figures in Chicago, having served as the first-ever woman CEO of ComEd, a company with over a century of history.
Now, with federal prosecutors openly accusing her of intimate involvement in ComEd’s bribery scheme, there are questions about criminal jeopardy. So far, only the company has been charged with a single count of bribery; a number of former ComEd executives have been detailed as carrying out the scheme, but none have been charged with anything, including Pramaggiore. The U.S. attorney’s office has agreed to defer prosecution of that charge for three years if the company reforms and continues to cooperate with its investigation of Madigan and others. The charge will be dismissed after the three years if ComEd continues to abide by the deal’s terms.
Madigan has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has denied any misconduct.
In a statement following the release of the feds’ information a week ago, a spokesman for Pramaggiore said: “Ms. Pramaggiore has done nothing wrong and any inference to the contrary is misguided and false. The fact is she led a distinguished career at Exelon, helping guide the company to high levels of reliability and record levels of customer satisfaction while implementing successful programs to improve utility infrastructure. During her tenure, she and other current and former ComEd and Exelon executives received, evaluated and granted many requests to provide appropriate and valuable services to the companies, none of which constitute unlawful activity.”
The Pramaggiore spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment today.
via Crain’s Chicago Business
July 24, 2020 at 04:57PM