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ComEd Guilty Verdict and the Race to Strike a Deal Before Sentencing Spells Big Trouble for Ex-House Speaker Michael Madigan



By Illinois Review

“Nobody’s above the law” was the message that jurors wanted to send on Tuesday evening after former ComEd lobbyist and City Club of Chicago President Jay Doherty; former ComEd executive John Hooker; former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore; and Michael McClain, a former ComEd lobbyist and longtime confidant to ex-House Speaker Michael Madigan were found guilty of bribery conspiracy and falsification of business records, in a trial that pulled back the curtain and exposed the scheme to bribe Madigan in exchange for his support of ComEd’s legislative agenda in the state House of Representatives.

Doherty, Hooker, Pramaggiore and McClain face up to 30 years in prison, and a sentencing date has not yet been set – but behind the scenes, one can only imagine the race to sing and compose as defendants are most likely working to strike a deal with prosecutors to avoid long sentences – creating a doomsday scenario for the disgraced ex-speaker and his legal team as they await their trial next year.

Ex-ComEd lobbyist and longtime Madigan confidant Michael McClain; ex-ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore; ex-ComEd executive John Hooker and ex-ComEd lobbyist and former City Club of Chicago President Jay Doherty. (Source: Fox 32 Chicago)

To make matters worse for Madigan, juror Amanda Schnitker Sayers told reporters after the verdict that,

“…his [Madigan] involvement with this case of course was key, and our perception was that he really did cause this all to happen. If it wouldn’t have been for him then these people would not be in the position…to commit the crimes in the first place.”

McClain is 75 years old, while Hooker is 74 – and the thought of spending the rest of their lives in prison only incentivizes them to strike a deal with prosecutors – and quickly.

And Madigan’s new reality may even force him to cut a deal with prosecutors to avoid a trial – admitting guilt in exchange for a shorter prison sentence.

A trial for Madigan and the potential of a guilty verdict could result in a very long sentence – and at 81 years old, he doesn’t have a lot of time.

Neither Madigan or his attorneys offered any comment after yesterday’s verdict – but that comes as no surprise. He’s remained virtually silent since leaving office after having served as speaker for nearly 40 years.

But the writing is already on the wall – cut a deal with prosecutors now, or go to trial and risk spending the rest of your life in prison.

And don’t expect anyone to protect you anymore — those days are over.


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  1. Doubtful ex-Speaker Madigan will see the inside of a prison cell.

    Given his age as pointed out in the article, at 81, there’s doubt he’ll live long enough to stand trial.

    Even if he lives long enough to be tried and convicted, most believe it’s cruel and unusual punishment to send an octogenarian to prison. Worst, Madigan will be forced to live out his days at a minimum security “Club Fed” federal prison.

    He will not go to the “Big House”.

    Nearly 27 years ago, then-Arkansas Governor Jim “Guy” Tucker was convicted in federal court of one count each for conspiracy and mail fraud as part of the Whitewater investigation.

    Because of his health (he was 53 at the time), Tucker was sentenced to 4 years home dentention and probation after being forced to resign from office.

    Tucker turns 80 later this month, without ever seeing the inside of a prison cell from his conviction.