House Democrats from the Special Investigating Committee (SIC) into the ethical conduct of Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan were successful in shutting down the committee’s work on Monday by refusing to call additional witnesses or to issue subpoenas to Madigan and others with intimate knowledge of a nine-year bribery scheme between Commonwealth Edison and the Speaker. After truncating the committee’s work, Democrats voted that the Speaker did not engage in conduct unbecoming of a legislator which constituted a breach of the public trust. The federal investigation into political corruption and Michael J. Madigan continues.
“The SIC was charged with conducting a thorough investigation, but in the end we met three times and heard from just one voluntary witness,” said SIC member State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville). “There’s not a soul who can say we conducted a thorough investigation. What we did learn through these three meetings, however, is that House Democrats will go to whatever lengths are necessary to protect Mike Madigan from having to testify under oath about his involvement in the bribery scheme. We also learned that corruption and a lack of ethics runs very deep within the House Democrat caucus, and that House Rules may apply to some lawmakers, but they don’t apply to Mike Madigan.”
The petition to investigate Speaker Madigan’s alleged involvement with the ComEd scandal was filed by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in late August. After an initial organizational meeting, the panel met in late September and heard testimony from ComEd and Exelon’s Chief Compliance Officer David Glockner. Glockner provided several hours of testimony and outlined a pattern where Madigan’s closest ally Mike McClain pressured ComEd to provide payments, contracts, jobs and a seat on the ComEd Board of Directors in an effort to gain favor with Mike Madigan. Subsequent emails supplied by ComEd cemented the notion that McClain was acting on behalf of the Speaker and that the Speaker was aware of the scheme.
Following the conclusion of Monday’s meeting, Durkin said, “The Democratic Party shows again today there is no limit to the lengths they will go to protect Speaker Madigan. Chairman Welch, Rep. Hernandez and Rep. Manley have turned the rule of law on its head by refusing to investigate the charges and demand the testimony of Speaker Madigan in this scandal. I call on Governor Pritzker to finally demand Speaker Madigan resign as it is clear he refuses to answer any questions about his corrupt practices.”
Wehrli continued, “We had a responsibility to restore integrity to the Illinois House of Representative and failed,” added Wehrli. “After decades of corruption in our state, today we had an opportunity to hold one of our own accountable for blatant unethical and possible criminal behavior. Instead, Chairman Welch and committee members Natalie Manley and Elizabeth Hernandez chose protecting their Speaker over taking any tangible steps that would help restore trust in Illinois government. It’s an embarrassment.”
Click here to view a video clip of Rep. Wehrli’s comments during the debate over issuing a subpoena to Speaker Madigan.