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Longtime Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party chairman Michael Madigan is facing calls for his resignation after federal prosecutors implicated him in an alleged bribery scheme, which has resulted in utility company ComEd agreeing to a $200 million fine.
Federal prosecutors said that utility company ComEd admitted to providing jobs or contracts "for various associates of a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois." While Madigan's name was not mentioned, a federal court filing identifies the official as the Illinois House speaker.
"The speaker has a lot that he needs to answer for, to authorities, to investigators, and most importantly, to the people of Illinois,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “If these allegations of wrongdoing by the speaker are true, there is no question that he will have betrayed the public trust and he must resign."
Prosecutors claim that the purpose of the alleged scheme was "to influence and reward the official’s efforts to assist ComEd with respect to legislation concerning ComEd and its business." In a news release, the U.S. Attorney's Office said that "Public Official A" influenced lawmakers regarding legislation that impacted ComEd. At this time, Madigan has not been charged and has not been formally accused of wrongdoing.
The $200 million fine for ComEd is part of a deferred prosecution agreement the company signed. The investigation of the alleged scheme continues, and a state Democratic Party spokeswoman confirmed that Madigan received subpoenas to turn over documents.
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"He will cooperate and respond to those requests for documents, which he believes will clearly demonstrate that he has done nothing criminal or improper," spokeswoman Maura Possley said in a statement.
Madigan has served on the state legislature since 1971. He first assumed the role of speaker in 1983, and has held the position ever since, with the exception of two years when Democrats lost their majority. He is the longest-serving state House speaker in the country. His daughter Lisa also served as state attorney general.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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