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More charges could be coming in federal bribery case involving former Illinois House speaker’s inner circle

A defense attorney said Wednesday that prosecutors are preparing a superseding indictment.

FILE - In this July 26, 2017 file photo, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol, Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Springfield, Ill. A published report citing a federal court affidavit says the FBI secretly recorded Illinois’ powerful House speaker in 2014 discussing a hotel development project. (Justin Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, File) ORG XMIT: ILSPR501
Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago
AP file photo

Defense attorneys have told a judge overseeing the federal bribery case involving members of former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s inner circle that prosecutors are on the “brink” of filing a superseding indictment in the case.

Such an indictment could mean additional charges and more defendants in the case.

“We know they are apparently on the brink of a superseding indictment. When are they going to tell us?” attorney Michael Monico said during a teleconference Wednesday with U.S. District Court Judge Harry Leinenweber to discuss the case.

Monico represents onetime ComEd vice president John Hooker, one of four defendants in the case.

Asked about the possibility of a superseding indictment, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Streicker said: “Your Honor, we are not in a position to discuss that at this time.”

Former ComEd official John Hooker, clockwise from top left, Springfield insider Michael McClain, forrmer City Club president Jay Doherty and ex-ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore.
Former ComEd official John Hooker (clockwise from top left), Springfield insider Michael McClain, forrmer City Club president Jay Doherty and ex-ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore.
Sun-Times files

When Leinenweber pressed Streicker on when, if at all, a superseding indictment might be coming, the prosecutor said, “That’s something we could essentially address at the next status hearing.”

That hearing is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 3.

Hooker, longtime Madigan confidant Michael McClain, ex-ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore and Jay Doherty, the former president of the City Club, are all charged in a bribery scheme designed to curry favor with Madigan.

The four defendants are charged in a document that also makes frequent references to ex-ComEd executive Fidel Marquez, who has already pleaded guilty to bribery. And it repeatedly mentions “Public Official A,” who is not named but is clearly Madigan.

Hooker, McClain, Pramaggiore and Doherty have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Madigan has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing.

Also during the hearing Wednesday, defense attorneys persuaded Leinenweber to give them more time — an additional three months — to review documents in the case after Streicker pointed out the “voluminous” amount of paperwork generated: about 1 million pages of records to date, she said.

Leinenweber asked the lawyers for their thoughts on a possible trial date. Patrick Cotter, McClain’s attorney, said it was too early to say.