ComEd Hit With Criminal Charges, Feds Implicate Madigan

ILLINOIS — Referring to him as “Public Official A,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office implicated House Speaker Michael Madigan in announcing criminal charges against utility company ComEd.

The utility, which provides power to much of northern Illinois, agrees to pay a fine of $200 million to end a federal criminal investigation into a years-long bribery scheme.

Under the agreement, the federal government will defer charges, but only if ComEd cooperates with ongoing investigations.

In their release, they refer to an unnamed public official that is described in a way that runs parallel to Madigan. In a court filing “Public Official A” is identified as “Speaker of the House of Representatives,” without mentioning Michael Madigan by name.

“Public Official A controlled what measures were called for a vote in the Illinois House of Representatives and exerted substantial influence over fellow lawmakers concerning legislation affecting ComEd,” they said. “The company admitted that it arranged for jobs and vendor subcontracts for Public Official A’s political allies and workers even in instances where those people performed little or no work that they were purportedly hired by ComEd to perform.”

In a press release issued by ComEd on Friday, the company said, “Exelon Corp. and its ComEd subsidiary today announced that ComEd has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois to resolve the previously disclosed investigation into ComEd’s historical lobbying practices in Illinois. The resolution ends the investigation into ComEd by the Department of Justice (DOJ). ”

“Under the three-year deferred prosecution agreement, ComEd has agreed to make payments totaling $200 million, and has agreed to the government’s filing of a single charge that will be dismissed at the end of the three-year term, provided it abides by all terms of the agreement. The fine will not be recovered in rates or charged to customers. ”

Madigan has held the reins in the state House for much of the past 37 years, serving as speaker for all but two years since 1983. Madigan, 78, is the longest serving statehouse Speaker in the United States and has long wielded as much power as, and often more than, the state’s governors.

Madigan’s spokesman was not immediately available for comment. Madigan has not been criminally charged.


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