Madigan confidant, others mostly withdraw request for information about grand jurors

Defense attorneys agree to only seek records confirming that grand jurors were chosen before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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House Speaker Mike Madigan listens to debate during a session of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Bank of Springfield Center in May. 

House Speaker Mike Madigan listens to debate during a session of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Bank of Springfield Center in May.

Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP file

Members of former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s inner circle have mostly withdrawn their request for information about the grand jury that handed up a 50-page indictment against them last November.

Madigan confidant Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, onetime ComEd vice president John Hooker and ex-City Club President Jay Doherty have all pleaded not guilty in response to that indictment, which accused them of a long-term bribery scheme designed to curry favor with the once powerful legislative leader. Madigan has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing.

Last month, defense attorneys for the group questioned whether the grand jurors who handed up the indictment “were representative of the community” and noted that the COVID-19 pandemic “has had a disparate impact on different groups.” They asked for details about the race, religion, sex, gender, ethnicity, year of birth, ZIP code, income and occupation of all grand jury members.

Earlier this month, though, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu wrote in a court filing that the grand jury was impaneled more than a year before the pandemic took hold, and “no additional jurors have been selected to serve on this grand jury since the time it was impaneled.” 

Bhachu wrote that he wouldn’t object to turning over records confirming that all grand jurors were chosen in January 2019. In their own court filing Monday, the defense attorneys agreed to that and withdrew their remaining requests for information.

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