Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has been named in a federal lawsuit today with ComED. A putative class of ComEd customers filed a civil racketeering lawsuit against Madigan, ComEd and a host of other defendants.
The lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act alleges civil and conspiracy charges need to be filed. The group of defendants believe they are owed at least $450 million in damages, including the $150 million in ill-gotten gains ComEd has admitted to and an additional $300 million under the RICO Act’s treble damages provision. It also requests immediate injunctive relief preventing Madigan from participating in legislative activities involving electricity matters affecting Commonwealth Edison and Exelon; immediate injunctive relief preventing Madigan from continuing to Chair the Democratic Party of Illinois and running it as a “corrupt organization”; and additional injunctive relief enjoining ComEd from continuing to charge consumers for subsidies of Exelon-owned nuclear power plants.
The full lawsuit can be read here.
In crafting the complaint, the plaintiffs’ lawyers rely heavily on the admissions ComEd had already made in its Deferred Prosecution Agreement of both patronage and bribery with U.S. Attorney John Lausch. ComEd’s admissions strongly implicated all of the Defendants. The Complaint puts particular emphasis on ComEd’s admission that it profited from the bribery scheme in excess of $150 million. Madigan has still not been charged with a crime in the case.
The complaint is being led by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart Chanen, and several attorneys in the Chicagoland area who have won several cases against ComEd in the recent past. Attorney Patrick Giordano has 40 years of experience in litigation against ComEd and has won over $3 billion in refunds and rate reductions for consumers. Paul Neilan has twenty years of experience litigating against ComEd, including a 2013 lawsuit in Cook County challenging one of the very statutes, the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (“EIMA”), which is now been linked to the bribery scheme at hand. Chanen and Neilan were co-counsel in the case.
No hearing date has been set in the case in federal court.