Judge sets sentencing dates for ComEd conspirators

Sentencing hearings for the former ComEd executives and contractors are scheduled for three months before the trial of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

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Michael Madigan confidant Michael McClain (left) leaves the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after being found guilty on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

Michael Madigan confidant Michael McClain (left) leaves the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after being found guilty on Tuesday. McClain and his three co-defendants are set to be sentenced in that case in January, just three months before McClain is set to go to trial alongside the former Illinois House Speaker.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

About three months before he’s slated to go to trial on racketeering charges with former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Madigan’s longtime confidant Michael McClain is set to be sentenced for his bribery conviction.

McClain and his co-defendants — former Commonwealth Edison chief executive Anne Pramaggiore, retired ComEd executive John Hooker and former City Club of Chicago president Jay Doherty — were found guilty Tuesday in a scheme to influence Madigan that funneled $1.3 million in payments to the speaker’s political allies.

On Friday, a federal judge set McClain’s sentencing for Jan. 11, making him the first of the ComEd defendants to be sentenced. Pramaggiore’s sentencing is set for Jan. 16, Hooker’s Jan. 25 and Doherty’s Jan. 30.

The trial of Madigan and McClain, in a separate case that includes accusations involving ComEd and other schemes, is scheduled to begin next April.

The defendants each face up to five years in prison on counts related to the conspiracy to bribe Madigan. Individual bribery charges carry sentences of as much as 10 years, and charges related to falsifying records have a 20-year maximum sentence.

Sentencing dates often are delayed. So McClain could ask U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber to move his sentencing to some time after the conclusion of the racketeering case.

While he didn’t face charges in the ComEd trial that ended this week, Madigan was a key figure in the prosecution’s case. Prosecutors and witnesses described Madigan’s near-total control of the Illinois Legislature, which ComEd hoped to leverage to get passed legislation favorable to the utility company.

To get to the speaker, testimony showed, ComEd essentially created a patronage job system inside the company, where people recommended by Madigan were hired to do little or no work.

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