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State

4 indicted in scheme to allegedly influence Speaker Madigan

Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, talks on his cellphone from his desk during an extended session of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Bank of Springfield Center, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in Springfield, Ill. The Illinois House of Representatives is holding session at the Bank of Springfield Center instead of the Illinois State Capitol because it allows for safe social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool)
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, talks on his cellphone from his desk during an extended session of the Illinois House of Representatives at the Bank of Springfield Center, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in Springfield, Ill. The Illinois House of Representatives is holding session at the Bank of Springfield Center instead of the Illinois State Capitol because it allows for safe social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool)

CHICAGO (AP) — Four people, including an associate of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges they orchestrated a bribery scheme with Commonwealth Edison.

The alleged scheme provided do-nothing jobs to Madigan loyalists in exchange for the speaker’s help with state legislation.

Those charged with bribery and conspiracy included Michael McClain, 73, of Quincy; former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggirore, 62, of Barrington; lobbyist and former ComEd executive John Hooker, 71, of Chicago; and Jay Doherty 67, a consultant and former head of the City Club if Chicago.

In addition to jobs and contracts, the defendants are accused of conspiring to have ComEd hire a law firm favored by Madigan and to accept into ComEd’s internship program students who resided in Madigan’s 13th Ward.

McClain served with Madigan in the House in the 1970s and early 1980s before McClain became a lobbyist who had ComEd as a client.

ComEd admitted in a deferred prosecution agreement signed with the U.S. attorney for the northern district of Illinois in July that its top administrators offered no-work lobbyist jobs and sub-contracts to allies of Madigan in exchange for favorable legislation. Madigan is identified in the document only as House speaker.

Madigan hasn’t been charged in connection with the alleged scheme and denies any wrongdoing. But he was singled out earlier this year when prosecutors announced ComEd would pay $200 million under a deferred prosecution deal that requires the utility to fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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