September 12 will mark the beginning of a trial for the first four defendants in the bribery case involving former House Speaker Michael Madigan. Defense lawyers had asked for a bench trial, but federal prosecutors have rejected that proposal, meaning the four will face a jury trial in the fall.
The defendants include Michael McClain, a former lawmaker and longtime confidant of Madigan; Anne Pramaggiore, former CEO of ComEd; John Hooker, former ComEd lobbyist; and Jay Doherty, a former consultant to ComEd and former leader of the City Club of Chicago.
The four individuals are accused of conspiring to bribe former Speaker Madigan by arranging for jobs, contracts, and monetary payments to many of his associates, including instances when associates performed little or no work.
Madigan and McClain were both indicted earlier this year on racketeering charges that include the ComEd scandal. Madigan has pled not guilty, but no trial date has yet been set for the former Speaker.
Senator Sue Rezin says the ongoing legal case exemplifies how badly Illinois is in need of stronger ethics rules for elected officials. Despite the recent spate of indictments, the General Assembly advanced no new ethics legislation during the spring session.