Madigan subpoena shows far reach of federal investigation

Madigan subpoena shows far reach of federal investigation

The Illinois House speaker was implicated in criminal charges filed against electrical company ComEd.

A grand jury subpoena served July 17 to Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan shows broad federal interest in the speaker’s interactions and relationships.

The subpoena includes 12 requests for documents regarding Madigan’s communications with politicians, friends and large corporations. The list of requests makes it clear investigators are interested in more than just his relationship with Commonwealth Edison and are looking for other instances in which the speaker used his power to help and influence others.

Building on their bribery case against  ComEd, investigators are seeking documents about hiring and lobbying communications with the company, as well as the potential for employment by ComEd of specific individuals, including former Chicago aldermen Michael Zalewski and Frank Olivo. Federal agents raided Zalewski’s home in May 2019. Olivo became a ComEd lobbyist after leaving the City Council. Investigators are also seeking similar communications with AT&T, Rush University Medical Center and Deerfield-based Walgreens.

The subpoena also requests records for a slew of individuals who have strong relationships with Madigan. They include information about 13th Ward precinct captains Edward Acevedo, Olivo and Zalewski regarding any help or benefit from Madigan to them or their immediate family members.

Investigators also asked for any document about Michael McClain or Kevin Quinn. McClain, a former ComEd employee and state representative, was accused by federal investigators of setting up $30,000 in payments through ComEd lobbyists to Quinn after he was ousted as a Madigan political operative. Quinn was a former political operative for Madigan who was accused of sexual harassment by campaign worker Alaina Hampton. She recently settled with Madigan’s campaign for $275,000.

Investigators also want information about relationships with politicians Daniel Solis and Martin Sandoval. Solis, a former Chicago alderman, wore a wire for the FBI, leading to the arrest of Ald. Ed Burke on 14 corruption charges. Investigators are interested in any legal aid Madigan may have offered Solis through his law firm, as well as job appointment offers with the state.

Sandoval, a former state senator, pleaded guilty in January to bribery charges and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators. Sandoval used his position as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee to influence red-light camera legislation. Investigators also want records regarding property in Chinatown and associated communication with Sandoval, McClain, the Illinois Department of Transportation and about Senate Bill 3247, which gave IDOT more land transfer power.

The subpoena demonstrates Madigan’s far-reaching power and influence that he has displayed throughout his nearly five decades as a state representative.

Democratic leaders have begun calling for Madigan’s resignation from office. State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, said the speaker’s actions with ComEd  require him to vacate his office as speaker and chairman of the Democratic Party, even without criminal charges being filed.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker stopped short of calling for the speaker’s resignation, saying he should step down if the allegations are true.

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