Longtime Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) says has no intention of stepping down — even after a federal indictment this week nabbed four people alleged to have orchestrated a bribery scheme for Madigan’s benefit.
In the wake of that indictment, even more of Madigan’s fellow Democrats have called on the speaker to resign, including Gov. JB Pritzker on Thursday. Additionally, the number of House Democratic members who have publicly committed to casting their biannual votes in the contest for House Speaker against Madigan has grown to a number insurmountable for the Speaker to win.
But in a statement Friday night, Madigan was defiant.
“I plan to be a candidate for speaker, and today I confirmed that I continue to have support from a significant number of House Democratic caucus members,” Madigan said.
Madigan, referred to in the indictment as “Public Official A,” has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing connected to the scheme, first outlined in a deferred prosecution agreement filed against electric utility Commonwealth Edison in July.
Prosecutors allege three former ComEd lobbyists, plus at least two former ComEd officials, carried out a years-long effort to arrange jobs and contracts for Madigan allies in an attempt to curry favor with the powerful House Speaker.
Ex-ComEd Vice President Fidel Marquez has already pleaded guilty to the scheme, while the four indicted on Wednesday insist they are innocent. One of the former ComEd lobbyists charged this week is Mike McClain, a confidant of Madigan’s for years dating back to the 1970s when they served together in the Illinois House.
McClain went on to lobby for the utility for decades, while Madigan rose through the ranks and accumulated power. He has served as House Speaker for all but two years since 1983.