Former Illinois House Speaker Charged For A Decade Of Alleged Criminal Enterprise

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Sophia Lorey Contributor
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Michael Madigan, former Democratic Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, and one of the state’s most influential legislators, has been indicted on corruption charges, the U.S. attorney announced late Wednesday.

Madigan, 79, first became Speaker in 1983, and served for a total of 36 years until he resigned in Feb. 2021. The 106-page indictment alleges that Madigan solicited and received bribes, used his power to affect the progress of bills, used “intimidation, and extortion to solicit benefits from private parties,” as well as “using facilities of interstate commerce to coordinate, plan, and further the goals of the enterprise.” (RELATED: Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan Suspends Campaign For Another Term)

The indictment dubbed the decade-long scheme as the “Madigan Enterprise,” saying that the purpose was to enhance Madigan’s political power, financially reward his political allies for their loyalty, and to “generate income for members and associates of the enterprise through illegal activities,” according to the indictment. The former-legislator has been charged with a list of 22 counts.

Madigan was linked to the bribery scheme involving top ComEd executives by federal investigators, though insisted he had done nothing wrong according to ABC7 Chicago.

“I was never involved in any criminal activity,” Madigan said in a statement, according to NBC5 Chicago “I worked to address the needs of my constituents, always keeping in mind the high standards required and the trust the public placed in me. I adamantly deny these accusations and look back proudly on my time as an elected official, serving the people of Illinois.”

Illinois Speaker of the House Chris Welch released a statement in which he said, “I made it clear that this matter needed to be handled in a court of law, completely separate from the legislature. … The full weight of the justice system was needed to ensure all charges are investigated properly and thoroughly.”

Madigan is scheduled to enter a plea in federal court next Wednesday in Chicago and, if convicted, it is possible Madigan will receive a lengthy prison sentence, according to ABC7.