A federal judge today declined to toss federal charges against four members of ex-House Speaker Michael Madigan’s inner circle, rejecting arguments in a key ruling seven months ahead of a scheduled trial.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber issued a 25-page opinion that nevertheless required the feds to identify false statements made amid an alleged eight-year scheme prosecutors say was designed to curry favor with Madigan.
Madigan confidant Michael McClain of Quincy, ex-ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-top ComEd lobbyist John Hooker, and former Chicago City Club president Jay Doherty were charged in a federal indictment in November 2020.
The four have been accused of arranging for Madigan’s associates and allies to get jobs, contracts, and money in order to influence Madigan while key legislation worked its way through Springfield in favor of the energy giant.
Madigan has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing. The scandal helped to end his record-setting tenure as Illinois House speaker. He has repeatedly been referred to in charging documents in ComEd’s deferred prosecution agreement with the federal court as “Public Official A.”
A hearing in the case against McClain, Pramaggiore, Hooker, and Doherty is set for March 23rd. A trial in the case is set for September 12th in Illinois’ North District federal court.