ComEd Bribery Trial Jury Learns Lessons About Machine Politics — In Michael Madigan’s Own Words


Michael J. Madigan calls one of his top lawmakers, who have decades of experience in the legislature, to step down over growing allegations of wrongdoing that could be exposed. I couldn’t be bothered to tell you that I was here.

So the influential speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives got on the phone with his key emissary, Michael McClain, to talk about longtime state legislator Lou Lang.

“So when do you want Lang to turn his boom down,” McClane said. “He’s not getting it because he’s not getting it.”

“Immediately,” Madigan told him

It turns out the FBI was listening in 2018.


Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s longtime best friend, Michael McClane, steps into Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

On Thursday, a jury in McClane and three other political powerhouse bribery trials heard Madigan’s voice for the first time on a secret recording. Some of them were created when Lang was forced to resign after 30 years in the Illinois legislature.

The recording provided a behind-the-scenes look at one of the #MeToo scandals that rocked the State Capitol. It also made Thursday’s embarrassing episode for Lang, who sat stone-faced on the witness stand while jurors listened to the phone call telling him it was time for McClane to step down.

Lang told McClane on November 8, 2018:

McClain told Lang that he was calling as “Agent, someone who cares deeply about you,” so it was also key evidence in the trial. McClain and others are on trial for allegedly trying to sway Madigan into benefiting ComEd by obtaining jobs, contracts, and money for Madigan’s associates, and McClain is accused of trying to sway Madigan’s demands. accepted the

Also on trial are former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and former City Club president Jay Doherty. Madigan said he will resign from Congress in 2021 and has faced another indictment on racketeering charges since last year.


Former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore steps into Dirksen Federal Court.

His trial is scheduled for April 2024.

Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, was stripped of his leadership post in 2018 amid allegations she repeatedly harassed, threatened and retaliated against.

He was later cleared of harassment allegations by the state’s acting legislative inspector general and left the Illinois House of Representatives in January 2019 to join a prominent Republican-led consulting and lobbying firm.

The tapes show that Madigan continued to pressure Lang through McClain and others to resign, and another woman threatened to go public if Lang was rewarded with a leadership position.

In one phone call, Madigan told McClain that Lang’s accuser did not cooperate with the Inspector General’s investigation, which he brought to his attention. Mentioned.

“Anyway, you told me that [state Rep. Anna] Moeller got an email saying Lang was inviting some women to his room to talk about bills,” Madigan said. “Could you sit down with Lang and, and, and if you want to do it, say to Lang, ‘Hey, oops’. I know you haven’t cleared (I don’t understand).

Madigan added of Lang: That’s my expectation. ”

When McClane finally called Lang on November 8, 2018, he said: “If you’re still a member, I think it’s in your best interest to leave while you’re strong and not face all of that. So this is no more. I care deeply about you, and you people who really think they should move on.”

Lang eventually told McClane, “I’ll think about this for a minute,” and said, “I wouldn’t do anything to damage the speakers or the caucuses. He’s been so kind to me. I’m not going to do him any trouble, so let me think about it.”

Lang later said he met with Madigan, who said, “This is his view, and as far as he is concerned, I have asserted that my leadership has reached its limits.”

The outcome of the second allegation is unclear, but Lang pleaded not guilty on the witness stand. In fact, under cross-examination by McClain’s attorney Patrick Cotter, Lang claimed “I am not guilty of sexual harassment.”

“And I will tell you here in federal court that I am outraged by this allegation,” Lang said. “And reasoning.”

Lang testified that McClane described Madigan by various nicknames, such as “our friend” as well as “Mike” and “Speaker”.

“Sometimes he called himself,” Lang said. “As if there was a capital H”

Despite the gravity of the request McClain made in November 2018, Lang said he was not surprised to receive a message from McClain, who was a lobbyist for ComEd at the time, rather than Madigan himself.

“Mr. McClain was one of those frequently sent by the Speaker to speak to lawmakers on a variety of issues relating to the activities and operations of the Illinois House of Representatives,” Lang told prosecutors.


Former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker walks into Dirksen federal court with his lawyers.

Other revelations at Thursday’s trial included details of the FBI’s approach to ComEd executive Fidel Marquez on Jan. 16, 2019. That day.

McDonald said he ran the tape for Marquez. In one, Marquez was caught talking about an ally of Madigan being paid by ComEd through Doherty’s firm, the agent said. Marquez is said to have been heard talking about efforts to appoint Ochoa to ComEd’s board of directors.

McDonald said he moved the debate to a strip mall parking lot when people at home began to wake up. I agreed to create a record for my colleague.

Also on Thursday, two former state legislators testified that they had experienced some form of retaliation for displaying independence against Madigan.

Former state congressman Scott Drury told jurors he failed to pass the Illinois House of Representatives for a third term after voting “present” for Madigan’s presidency in 2017.

Also, former Illinois Rep. Carol Sente, who served in the Illinois legislature from 2009 to 2019, lost her seat as House committee chair after she introduced a term limit bill affecting Madigan’s record speaker. I testified that I believed leadership.

However, McClane’s attorney, David Niemeyer, questioned Sente as to whether it was reasonable for party members to face consequences if they took a position that was inconsistent with the party.

“This is all politics, isn’t it, Senju-san?” he asks.

“So I learned,” she said.


Former City Club President Jay Doherty steps into Dirksen Federal Court.


What do you think?

Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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