Once One of America’s Most Powerful Democrats, Now Fallen Star Indicted for Bribery, Racketeering and More

Once One of America’s Most Powerful Democrats, Now Fallen Star Indicted for Bribery, Racketeering and More

’ reputation for political corruption is well-deserved.

Unfortunately for the people living there, its origins go back long before Al Capone and the days of prohibition.

The latest indictment to rock the Land of Lincoln involves longtime Illinois House of Representatives Speaker .

Forget about being the most powerful politician in the state, Madigan was once one of the most powerful state legislators in the entire country.

Now, U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. has indicted Madigan on a litany of corruption charges. Lausch and his prosecutors revealed their decision to charge Madigan at a press conference in downtown Chicago.

The indictment includes 22 charges against Madigan and various co-conspirators.

Responding to the developments upstate, Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin had strong words for his Democratic colleagues who tried to stymie the investigation into Madigan.

ABC Chicago reports:

The alleged scheme stretches from Chicago to Springfield and connects politicians, lobbyists, business and utility executives and Madigan’s law firm. Prosecutors allege Madigan, 79, led a criminal enterprise meant to enhance Madigan’s political power and financial well-being while also generating income for his allies and associates for nearly a decade.

Madigan’s close friend Michael McClain is named as a co-defendant, and prosecutors allege he carried out criminal activities at Madigan’s behest.

The indictment accuses Madigan and McClain and other members of the conspiracy of unlawfully soliciting benefits from businesses and other private entities, and accuses Madigan of engaging in multiple schemes to benefit from private legal work unlawfully steered to his law firm.

Madigan and McClain are charged with racketeering conspiracy and individual counts of using interstate facilities in aid of bribery, and wire fraud, prosecutors said. Madigan is additionally charged with attempted extortion.

Madigan maintains his innocence, declaring in a statement that “I was never involved in any criminal activity. The government is attempting to criminalize a routine constituent service: job recommendations. That is not illegal, and these other charges are equally unfounded. Throughout my 50 years as a public servant, I worked to address the needs of my constituents, always keeping in mind the high standards required and the trust the public placed in me. I adamantly deny these accusations and look back proudly on my time as an elected official, serving the people of Illinois.”

For the time being, it appears most of Madigan’s neighbors in Southwest Chicago are standing beside him.

Yet prosecutors say they have copious amounts of evidence (despite Madigan’s aversion to emails and cell phones) that prove he used his clout to build a criminal enterprise.

Indeed, for many, Madigan epitomizes Chicago’s culture of corruption.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.