Illinois House Republican leader joins calls for Madigan’s ‘immediate resignation’

Jim Durkin says Mike Madigan is “unable to execute his responsibilities” as House Speaker.

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Jim Durkin, Ill. House Nominee (R-82nd) Wed. October 3, 2018.

State Rep. Jim Durkin. R-Western Springs

Rich Hein/Sun-Times file

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ top House Republican, Jim Durkin, has joined the growing list of state lawmakers who are now calling for House Speaker Mike Madigan to immediately resign.

In a statement Thursday, Durkin said after reviewing the federal allegations against ComEd that implicated Madigan in a wide-reaching bribery scheme, he concluded the Southwest Side Democrat is “unable to execute his responsibilities as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representative,” and that he will file a resolution to have the House vote on a new Speaker.

“The federal charges outlined in the ComEd prosecution highlight a scheme solely for the benefit of Speaker Madigan,” Durkin said in a statement. “These facts are a disgrace of the highest level to the citizens of Illinois and to the institution of which we serve, the Illinois House of Representatives.”

This is a change for the Republican from Western Springs. When Madigan was implicated in court documents filed July 17, Durkin said Madigan should resign if the allegations against him were true.

A growing list of Democrats have called on Madigan to immediately resign from his seat and his chairmanship of the state Democratic Party. Democratic state Reps. Anne Stava-Murray, Stephanie Kifowit and Terra Costa Howard along with state Sens. Melinda Bush and Heather Steans have called for Madigan’s immediate resignation.

Madigan’s office had no immediate comment on Durkin’s statement.

Known as the “velvet hammer” for the soft-spoken and powerful influence in state politics, Madigan has served as Speaker for 35 of the past 37 years, in addition to serving as the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party since 1998.

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