There may be evidence getting closer to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The Chicago Tribune reports that former Chicago 25th Ward Alderman Daniel Solis recorded Madigan on numerous occasions as the speaker allegedly sought business for his private law firm, two sources with knowledge of the probe told members of the Tribune.
Among their discussions was a plan to turn a state-owned parcel of land in Chinatown into a commercial development. Though the land deal never was consummated, it’s been a source of continued interest for federal investigators, who last year subpoenaed Madigan’s office for records and communications he’d had with key players. The parcel of land in Chinatown was then owned by the Illinois Department of Transportation and required legislation from the Illinois General Assembly to release it to developers. The legislation was eventually passed on and voted down by Representatives Avery Bourne and Theresa Mah. Bourne told reporters in 2017 that she didn’t feel the bill was above board and struck it as a late amendment to routine land transfer legislation involving the Department of Natural Resources and IDOT.
The Solis recordings allegedly go back five years when federal investigators eventually culled enough evidence from them to nab former Chicago Alderman Edward Burke on racketeering charges.
The full scope of the taping effort by Solis on behalf of federal investigators remains unclear. Solis is facing his own deferred prosecution for allegedly taking campaign cash in exchange for official actions while he was the City of Chicago’s Zoning Committee chair.