SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) – Former Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan was hit with another charge in his federal corruption case.
According to an indictment unsealed by the U.S. Attorney Office Friday, Madigan was indicted on a federal charge for a conspiracy for illegal lobbying for AT&T Illinois. His close ally and lobbyist for Com-Ed, Michael McClain, and the president of AT&T Illinois, Paul La Schiazza, were also indicted.
Madigan was indicted on 22 federal charges back in March for bribery and racketeering. All of those charges are related to a corruption investigation into the utility company Commonwealth-Edison.
AT&T Illinois has also agreed to pay $23 million for a deferred prosecution settlement. AT&T said in a statement they will work to ensure stricter ethics.
“We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards,” a spokesperson for AT&T said. “We are committed to ensuring that this never happens again.”
According to court records, an unregistered lobbyist from AT&T paid $22,500 to an ally of Madigan. Madigan then passed a bill favoring utility companies in the state.
“Although the members of the conspiracy formulated a pretextual assignment for Madigan’s ally to disguise why the ally was being paid, the ally performed no actual work for AT&T Illinois and had no role in advancing the legislation,” the release said.
Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statement, highlighting his work to root out corruption.
“When I ran for office, I made clear that I would be beholden to no one, and that I would serve the best interests of the people of Illinois,” Pritzker said. “I have upheld that vow. Since I took office my administration has made clear that such abuses will not be tolerated and we’ve worked hard to strengthen our ethic laws. ”
The Illinois Republican Party issued a statement condemning the Democratic Party of Illinois’ corruption.
“Indicted former House Speaker Mike Madigan’s legacy continues to haunt Illinois as he now faces additional corruption-related charges,” the statement reads. “While these additional charges, as well as AT&T’s settlement, is another step towards justice, with Ilinois [sic] Democrats and their corruption charges, it’s like the “Never Ending Story”.”
In a press conference, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) said he believes the corruption is still in the Democratic legislature despite Madigan being gone.
“The corruption has been involved with some of the biggest policy decisions that we have made, whether it’s regarding Commonwealth Edison and now we see it with AT&T,” Durkin said.