Federal prosecutors say Madigan was the head of a group which engaged in criminal conduct to his advantage. They call it the “Madigan Enterprise.”
The indictment says members of Madigan’s crew allegedly engaged in illegal activities such as “soliciting and receiving bribes and unlawful personal financial advantage from persons and parties having business with the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago.”
Madigan, aged 79 years old could spend up to 20 consecutive years behind bars if convicted.
Illinois, of course, has a long history — some might even call it a tradition — of sending its elected officials off to jail.
National politics dominate headlines, but there’s no shortage of intrigue in statehouses. Missouri isn’t the only exception. Illinois seems to go above and beyond when it comes to corruption. (“Corruption in Illinois” has its own Wikipedia page. And how many states can boast that four of their last seven governors have served jail time?!)
Madigan, on the other hand, denies any wrongdoing.
“I was never involved in any criminal activity. It is trying to criminalize the routine service of job recommendations. That is not illegal, and these other charges are equally unfounded,” Madigan said in a statement obtained by CNN.
It will certainly be interesting to see the trial if it is.
After the announcement of the indictment, Pritzker (Illinois Governor) released a statement.
“This indictment is an indictment that condemns the system of Illinois corruption and self-dealing. The conduct alleged in this indictment is deplorable and a stark violation of the public’s trust. Michael Madigan needs to be held responsible for his actions.
Ultimately, every person in elected office is responsible for doing the right thing – and not lining their own pockets. I am fully committed to eradicate the scourge of corruption from our political system, and today’s indictment is an important step in cleaning up Illinois. I have faith that our justice system will help restore the public’s trust in government.
In my candidacy for the office of Illinois Senator, I stated that I was not obligated to anyone and would only serve the interests of Illinois citizens. This vow I’ve kept. For the past three years, my administration has made clear that such abuses will not be tolerated, and we’ve tightened our ethics laws. I will continue to work with the General Assembly to restore the public’s trust.“
Pritzker will be up for reelection in this election.