McClain is set to go to trial in March of this year on separate but related charges, along with fellow defendants Anne Pramaggiore, former ComEd CEO, and Jay Doherty and John Hooker, former lobbyists for ComEd and parent company Exelon.
That trial will run for as long as two months, McClain attorney Patrick Cotter told Judge Blakey today.
Evidence and arguments in the trial this year of the four defendants whom prosecutors accuse of fostering a nearly decade-long bribery scheme aimed at winning Madigan’s favor are likely to serve as something of a preview for Madigan’s own trial.
All have pleaded not guilty. Madigan’s attorneys have argued that federal prosecutors are trying to criminalize relatively ordinary political behavior.
ComEd and AT&T both have admitted in federal court to the bribery charges and have entered into deferred prosecution agreements in which those charges will be dropped if the companies continue to cooperate with the government.
ComEd’s behavior went on for longer and involved more cash and beneficiaries than AT&T. The Chicago utility from 2011 until 2019 benefited from a series of lucrative bills in Springfield that meant billions in additional revenue.
It paid thousands in cash regularly to associates of Madigan through outside lobbyists who hired the speaker’s allegedly favored individuals via subcontracts under which they performed little or no work. In addition, ComEd agreed, allegedly at Madigan’s behest, to put an associate—former Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority CEO Juan Ochoa—on its board.
Madigan retired as speaker in early 2021 after failing to win enough support from the House Democratic caucus to stay on. He then retired from the House altogether. Succeeding him as speaker was Chris Welch, who now is beginning his third year in charge of the lower chamber in Springfield.
Madigan still serves as 13th Ward committeeman in Chicago, where he continues to collect substantial political donations from labor unions and other interests with long-time ties to him.
via “Illinois Politics” – Google News https://ift.tt/oXwpH71
January 9, 2023 at 01:53PM