Michael Madigan, arguably the most influential man in the history of Illinois politics, has suffered a staggering fall from grace. The Chicago Sun-Times reported today that he has been indicted.
This bombshell Federal racketeering indictment alleges the once-powerful Democrat met with then-Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker amid a scheme to get Chicago Alderman Danny Solis a lucrative state board position after Solis’ retirement from the Council.
That scheme is just one of those outlined in the 106-page indictment that accuses Madigan of leading a criminal enterprise for nearly a decade. It also alleges schemes involving ComEd and a parcel of land in Chinatown.
Governor Pritzker denounced Madigan after receiving word.
“The conduct alleged in this indictment is deplorable and a stark violation of the public’s trust. Michael Madigan must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Pritzker said in the statement.
This news is the culmination of one of the most significant, expansive public corruption investigations Illinois has seen in years, already leaving an indelible mark on state politics by knocking Madigan out of power in January 2021.
The powerful Southwest Side Democrat had held his seat in the state House of Representatives since 1971 and served as Speaker for all but two years between 1983 and 2020.
Even in a state where people are used to seeing Governors go to prison every few years, this is a big deal. For decades Madigan seemed invincible. But a photograph published with today’s Sun-Times article showed Madigan pulling into the driveway of his Southwest Side home. He looked feeble, angry and maybe even scared. Most people in Illinois probably never would have thought he could end up this way.
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