Democrats on the Special Investigating Committee (SIC) into the ethical conduct of Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan shut down the committee’s work on Monday and voted that the Speaker did not engage in conduct unbecoming of a legislator when he pressured Commonwealth Edison to provide payments, jobs, contracts and a seat on the ComEd Board to his friends and allies. The federal investigation into political corruption involving Michael J. Madigan continues.
“The six members of this investigative body had a responsibility to uphold the integrity of the House of Representatives, but the three Democrats on the committee instead chose to shield the Speaker from having to testify and refused to hold a member of their caucus accountable for perceive unethical and possibly illegal behavior,” said State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville). “They met just three times and only heard from one voluntary witness. It sets a terrible precedent for what types of conduct are acceptable by elected officials.”
The petition to investigate Speaker Madigan’s alleged involvement with the ComEd scandal was filed in late August, and after an initial organizational meeting the panel met in late September and heard testimony from ComEd and Exelon’s Chief Compliance Officer David Glockner. Glockner provided several hours of testimony and outlined a pattern where Madigan’s closest ally Mike McClain pressured ComEd to provide payments, contracts, jobs and a seat on the ComEd Board of Directors in an effort to gain favor with Mike Madigan. Subsequent emails supplied by ComEd cemented to notion that McClain was acting on behalf of the Speaker and that the Speaker was aware of the scheme.
Efforts by Republican committee members to issue subpoenas to Madigan and others with intimate knowledge of the ComEd-Madigan bribery scheme and to call ComEd officials back to testify again were blocked by the committee’s Democrats in two, 3-3 votes.
“The committee’s lack of action is representative of the problems we face with regard to political corruption,” added Bourne. “The Democrats simply had no interest in accountability or in getting to the truth. They were charged with engaging in a thorough investigation, and chose to limit the proceedings to one voluntary wittiness. They showed all of Illinois that protecting the Speaker was more important than restoring the public trust.”
If the committee had found the petition had merit, a bipartisan committee of 12 House members would have assembled for a trial to determine if and how the Speaker should be disciplined, and if he should be expelled from the House.