(The Center Square) – The twists and turns of the ComEd bribery scandal implicating Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan were a plenty in 2020 and the story is far from over.
Madigan, D-Chicago, maintains he’s done nothing wrong, but revelations this year put the long-time Chicago politician in the center of a nine-year bribery scheme that led to federal indictments in 2020.
This summer, federal prosecutors revealed a nearly decade-long bribery scheme to influence Madigan that ComEd admitted to. Madigan has not been charged with a crime.
Exelon compliance officer David Glockner testified before an Illinois House committee in September that the utility paid $1.3 million in bribes and contracts to Madigan associates.
“ComEd has acknowledged that it believed that it was seeking to influence Speaker Madigan,” Glockner said.
Five people have been charged in the case. One has pleaded guilty.
Documents released by the committee showed a Madigan associate lining up jobs with the utility that were important to the speaker.
Separately, Democrats voted against advancing charges to a disciplinary committee.
State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, hopes the feds continue to investigate, saying the House failed to bring accountability.
“There are very important and pressing issues facing the state of Illinois today,” Demmer said. “The people deserve to have a Speaker of the House who is not the subject of a federal investigation.”
After ending a House investigation into the matter, state Rep Chris Welch, D-Hill, said said they don’t want to interfere with the ongoing criminal probe.
“If anyone is going to get to what’s going on here, the U.S. Attorney’s office is going to do that,” Welch said. “That’s not the role of a legislative committee.”
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, said he would urge the incoming Biden administration to continue the ComEd investigation.
“I don’t need to know any more detail that it’s timely and they’re actively engaged in it,” Durbin said.
It’s unclear what stage the federal probe is in.