Marquez To Plead Guilty in ComEd Bribery Scheme

By Benjamin Cox on September 29, 2020 at 6:01am

A former ComEd executive is scheduled to plead guilty this week in a bribery conspiracy case linked to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Fidel Marquez, who was charged three weeks ago in a one-count criminal information, is scheduled to enter a guilty plea tomorrow according to court records. Marquez has been the only one charged in the utility’s yearslong scheme of bribery and patronage hirings linked to Madigan.

The Chicago Tribune says that Federal prosecutors said their ongoing investigation shows ComEd sought to influence legislation in Springfield by making payments to Madigan associates and approved lobbyists, some of whom did little or no actual work for the company.

The 4-page information against Marquez alleged that from 2011 to 2019, he conspired with others to corruptly solicit jobs, contracts and monetary payments for the benefit of Madigan — identified as Public Official A — and his associates with the intent of influencing legislation beneficial to ComEd.

The Chicago Tribune reported last year that Marquez was a focus of the federal investigation, as is former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, who abruptly retired last year. She has not been charged with wrondoing.

Many of the illegal payments allegedly were arranged by Quincy-based lobbyist Michael McClain, a long-time adviser and confidant of Madigan’s. Madigan has continually denied any wrongdoing.