Republican members of the Special Investigating Committee (SIC) into the conduct of Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan held a press conference on Thursday and renewed their call for the use of subpoenas if the Speaker and others embroiled in the ComEd scheme do not voluntarily come forward to testify.
The six member, bipartisan panel is charged with determining if the Speaker of the House engaged in conduct unbecoming of a lawmaker which constituted a breach of the public trust. At a meeting held on September 29, an attempt to approve the issuance of subpoenas to Michael J. Madigan and others was deemed “out of order” by SIC Chair Chris Welch. Republican committee members, frustrated by what they viewed as attempt to cripple the committee’s ability to gather testimony, said the chairman exceeded his statutory authority by blocking the issuance of subpoenas.
“The Illinois Constitution and the Illinois Compiled Statues are clear in the authority we have to use subpoenas to compel people to testify in an investigatory hearing,” said State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville).
“The Illinois Constitution, in Article IV, Section 7, Sub-section C, is clear on this matter, and so is Illinois Compiled Statutes in 25/ILCS 5/4. Both articles of law grant subpoena power not just to the chair of a committee, but also to any member of a committee.”
The Illinois Constitution states: “Either house or any committee thereof as provided by law may compel by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, records and papers.”
Illinois law further states: “The presiding officer of each house, and the chairman, or any member of any committee appointed by either house, or of a joint committee appointed by the two houses of the General Assembly, may administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses called before such house or committee for the purpose of giving evidence touching any matter or thing which may be under the consideration or investigation of such house or committee.”
“Speaker Madigan and others named in the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) between Commonwealth Edison and the US Attorney of Northern Illinois have relevant and useful information that is vital to the SIC’s ability to do it’s job properly,” said Wehrli. “Only by questioning these witnesses will we be able to build out a broader picture of what exactly transpired with regard to ComEd’s admission that they engaged in a bribery scheme to gain favor with Mike Madigan. It’s through getting people to testify under oath that we obtain a full and complete record.”
So far, the committee has only heard testimony from ComEd and Exelon’s Chief Compliance Officer David Glockner, who is a new hire at ComEd; he was not working for ComEd/Excelon while the illegal activities were taking place. Glicker was led through the DPA, and one by one, he reiterated each statement of fact as being true. He also admitted that the entire DPA is built around payments, jobs and a seat on the ComEd Board that were used to gain favor with Mike Madigan.
“Our investigating committee has a specific and important charge, and our process is separate from the ongoing federal investigation into political corruption in Illinois,” said Wehrli. “Our committee’s work is about protecting the integrity of the Illinois House of Representatives, and about holding our colleagues accountable for their actions. Speaker Madigan needs to come forward and testify.”