Former speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael Joseph Madigan (D) was indicted on federal corruption charges on Wednesday, reputedly for his role in various bribery schemes.
According to the Hill, Madigan’s charges were the “culmination of a years-long investigation into the longstanding Democrat legislator, who was for decades one of Illinois’ most prominent lawmakers, a federal grand jury issued a 22-count indictment.”
Madigan served as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives for 35 years. In the wake of the bribery inquiry, he resigned last year. Michael McClain, a close confidant of Madigan’s, was also charged.
He has vehemently denied any impropriety on his part. Madigan, who has represented Chicago’s southwest side for half a century, maintained a solid hold on power in the 1990s, using it to overwhelm governors of both parties, effectively dictating state policies from the lower house of the legislature.
He had complete control over Democratic campaign finances and endorsements until the final 10 years, and few Democrats seeking elected office dared to challenge him. Governors who disagreed with him on policy nearly usually failed.
Mr. Madigan was suspected for years of passing laws or advocating measures that would benefit his legal firm. His daughter, the well-liked Lisa Madigan, was the state’s attorney general for eight years, so he dodged justice — but his time has finally come.