Michael Madigan

News and updates related to Illinois politician Michael Madigan, Speaker of the House and state representative from Illinois’ 22nd district.

Attacks on Madigan’s influence over state government have been part of the Republican campaign playbook going at least as far back as Bruce Rauner’s election in 2014. There’s no reason to think that’s going to let up now that Madigan has been charged with racketeering and bribery.
Michael Madigan’s son Andrew has not been accused of wrongdoing. But his name was made public Thursday as allegedly taking part in a conversation tied to his father’s bribery charges.
Madigan’s comments may not exactly find a place in the Chicago corruption lexicon, but most of the words previously attributed by the feds to Madigan are far more flat.
The ex-Illinois House speaker was caught on a wiretapped call in 2018 discussing with lobbyist confidant Michael McClain a plan to arrange secret payments to a political ally who’d been implicated in a sexual harassment scandal, newly released court documents show. Madigan has always denied any involvement in the scheme.
Chinatown developer See Y. Wong wore a wire for the feds in an effort to get leniency in an unrelated wire fraud case.
His finally unveiled deferred-prosecution agreement essentially will allow him to go unpunished for his own wrongdoing — and hold onto his lucrative city pension.
Meanwhile, prosecutors are mum on whether they plan to eventually expand upon last month’s bombshell indictment of the former speaker and ally Michael McClain.
The case involved former Ald. Danny Solis (25th), who was under federal investigation, but his successor, Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, had hoped state’s top court would set a precedent that could have broader implications for other politicians, such as former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and Ald. Ed Burke (14th).
But in a surprise move during a status hearing Wednesday, Michael McClain’s defense attorney told the judge the defendants would prefer to have it go forward as a bench trial — decided by the judge — rather than as a jury trial. Prosecutors must agree to that request.
His resignation follows the recent departure of tollway board chairman Will Evans, who was in a power struggle with Alvarez since 2019, when they both were hired.
Former Speaker Michael Madigan’s indictment says he “directed the activities of his close friend and associate, [Michael] McClain, who carried out illegal activity at Madigan’s direction.” And the feds have portrayed McClain as a Madigan surrogate.
The charges they face of using their power for personal gain reflect something often seen in white-collar cases: No matter how much some people have, it’s never enough.
Prosecutors said the indicted politicians pressured the developer now confirmed to be 601W Companies to hire their law firms, It redeveloped what’s now called the Old Post Office.
While Madigan’s family member was not identified by name in the indictment last week, the Sun-Times has learned it is his son, Andrew.
Madigan’s arraignment came two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the federal courts along with the rest of daily life. It also largely put a halt to a ritual faced by scores of politicians before Madigan: The stroll through the lobby of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on the way to see the judge.
The resolution passed 104 to 1, with the no vote cast by state Rep. Lakesia Collins — who sponsored all three previous resolutions to remove mask scofflaws. Republicans welcomed Tuesday’s vote, but spent more time talking about indicted former House Speaker Mike Madigan.
Nine Democratic legislators had asked the governor for the freeze, citing an investigation by the Better Government Association published by the Sun-Times in January.
“I don’t like crooks — even if it benefits the neighborhood,” said one resident after the longtime powerful pol was hit with federal charges.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker called the allegations “a stark violation of the public’s trust” and said “Michael Madigan must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” But House Republican Leader Jim Durkin argued it’s “not just an indictment against Michael Madigan. It’s an indictment against the Democrat Party of Illinois that he ran for decades.”
Madigan is now one of the most significant politicians in Illinois history ever to face criminal charges, despite having left office more than a year ago.
The four were accused of arranging for the ex-House speaker’s associates and allies to get jobs, contracts and money in order to influence Madigan as key legislation worked its way through Springfield.
Justices heard arguments hinging on whether the high-priced criminal defenses that so many Illinois officials have had to pony up for amount to “personal” expenses prohibited by campaign financing law.
Launching his campaign on the first day candidates can start gathering signatures for nominating petitions, Steve Kim became the third Republican in as many days to announce a run for statewide office in the June primary.
Calling himself a “proven fiscal watchdog,” the Republican state legislator slammed his Democratic opponent as a member of the “tax-and-spend Springfield crowd” and part of the “Springfield machine.” “Let’s speak plainly. Springfield is broken,” Demmer says in his campaign video.