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One year after exit from politics, former Ill. House Speaker Mike Madigan indicted

More than a year after his ouster as the longest-serving legislative leader in the country, former House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) has been indicted, federal prosecutors are set to announce Wednesday afternoon.

In a 22-count indictment, Madigan is alleged to have engaged in racketeering, bribery and wire fraud along with his longtime close confidant Michael McClain, who has already been charged in a related case.

Madigan failed to secure a historic 19th term as Illinois House speaker last January, losing key support from the Democratic caucus he spent decades building. Though he was not charged, a $200 million deferred prosecution agreement the feds entered into with electric utility Commonwealth Edison named Madigan “Public Official A” in the summer of 2020, breathing new life into an old story of corruption in Illinois politics, both proven and implied.

McClain, who for decades was a top lobbyist for ComEd, was indicted with three other former ComEd lobbyists and officials in November of that year. But a federal grand jury, convened last April, lobbed more charges on McClain, accusing him Wednesday of carrying out illegal plans at Madigan’s behest during the near-decade timeframe the feds are focused on.

The feds framed the power Madigan accumulated via his positions as House Speaker, Chicago’s 13th Ward Democratic committeeman, and partner in his law firm as a criminal enterprise whose purpose was, in part, “to exercise, to preserve, and to enhance Madigan’s political power and financial well-being.”

The “Madigan Enterprise,” as feds dubbed it in their 106-page indictment, also served to “financially reward Madigan’s political allies, political workers, and associates for their loyalty, association with, and work for Madigan, and to generate income for members and associates of the enterprise through illegal activities,” the indictment said.

This story will be updated.

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Meisel works for Capitol News Illinois.