ComEd bribery trial

Four power players are accused of trying to bribe former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to benefit ComEd. The four have pleaded not guilty, and their trial is likely to explore the line between legal lobbying and criminal activity.

The dispute is over whether a federal bribery statute criminalizes only bribery, as opposed to also criminalizing so-called gratuities or rewards.
It’s a sign of how serious all sides are taking the sentencing of Madigan confidant Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and onetime City Club President Jay Doherty.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed charges against Exelon and ComEd, but their charges will be settled for $46.2 million.
Former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore contested the move to suspend her law license, but the state Supreme Court ruled against her.
The dismissal means ComEd no longer faces criminal charges and avoids conviction, while others have faced prison time as a result of the investigation that targeted former state House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Anne Pramaggiore was found guilty of bribing former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Now she’s fighting to keep her law license.
Defense attorney Scott Lassar told the Chicago Sun-Times he was referring to possible rulings by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, or even the U.S. Supreme Court.
The company will not say how much it has paid to attorneys representing ex-CEO Anne Pramaggiore and VP John Hooker, but a rep says ratepayer funds are not used.
The suspension against McClain, a top confidant of former House Speaker Michael Madigan, may not hold since his crimes occurred years after his time in office.
Michael Madigan confidant Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and onetime City Club President Jay Doherty were all accused in the trial of a bribery conspiracy aimed at illegally swaying the powerful Democrat to benefit ComEd.
‘We felt this went beyond goodwill to “intent to influence,”’ said the jury foreperson, Sarah Goldenberg, a 34-year-old data analyst.
‘This guilty on all charges verdict has proven what Republicans have already known. We need real ethics reform,’ Illinois House Republican Leader Tony McCombie said at a news conference in Springfield after the verdict.
After six weeks of trial, 12 jurors are considering the merits of the case that ended former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s record-breaking grip on power.
Four former political power players are accused of arranging for jobs, contracts and money for Madigan allies in an illegal bid to sway Madigan on legislation crucial to ComEd. Their trial is in its seventh week, and jurors could begin deliberating Tuesday.
The jury will have a mountain of evidence to sort through. Jurors heard from about 50 witnesses over five weeks, saw piles of emails and heard a cache of secret FBI recordings that form the backbone of the feds’ case.
Anne Pramaggiore went toe-to-toe with Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Streicker, who questioned Pramaggiore for around two and a half hours and challenged the assertions Pramaggiore made Monday on the witness stand.
Anne Pramaggiore testifies in her defense that she was unaware that the contractors hired by the utility through Jay Doherty’s company had connections to the ex- speaker.
Anne Pramaggiore will face more questions when the ComEd bribery trial resumes Monday, when she will surely face vigorous cross-examination by prosecutors in the high-stakes case.
Prosecutors called three dozen witnesses over four weeks as they sought to prove four former political players conspired to bribe Madigan by arranging for jobs, contracts and money for his allies.
‘Understand this, that I control that contract,’ Edward Moody says he was told by Madigan. ‘If you stop doing your political work, you’ll lose that contract.’
The testimony capped the fourth week in the ComEd bribery trial. Prosecutors have presented nearly all of their evidence and predict they will rest their case by Tuesday.
The ex-speaker’s comment that ‘Some of these guys made out like bandits’ did not refer to the $1.3 million involved in the current trial, defense argued. A judge agreed.
In 2019, agents searched homes of allies of ex-Speaker Michael Madigan, seizing documents and finding none showing any work was done in exchange for payment.
Prosecutors present recordings showing Madigan confidant Michael McClain didn’t trust incoming utility boss Joseph Dominguez, a former federal prosecutor.
In a trial exploring the difference between political favors and criminal conduct, Fidel Marquez was asked whether his deal to become a fed informant was a bribe.