What you need to know – Chicago Tribune

The sprawling federal investigation into Commonwealth Edison’s alleged attempts to sway former House Speaker Michael Madigan rocked Illinois politics to the core.

The highly anticipated trial of the so-called ComEd Four, which is expected to last up to eight weeks, will feature as many as 70 witnesses, including current and former state legislators, members of Madigan’s vaunted 13th Ward political operation, and former ComEd executives and attorneys.

At the center of the trial will also be dozens of undercover recordings of the defendants and even the famously reticent Madigan himself.

The Tribune has chronicled the events that led up to the trial and the backgrounds of the key defendants and witnesses expected to testify.

Catch up with the coverage below.

Outside of former House Speaker Michael Madigan, the main characters in the “ComEd Four” bribery conspiracy trial are hardly household names.

One was Madigan’s loyal confidant. Another was ComEd’s popular chief executive. There’s a consummate lobbyist and a political consultant who was the face of the City Club of Chicago.

Read more here.

Former City Club of Chicago President Jay Doherty enters the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse on the first day of the “ComEd Four” bribery conspiracy trial, March 14, 2023.

The City Club of Chicago dining room was filled with the usual lunchtime crowd of movers and shakers seven years ago for a speech by Commonwealth Edison’s CEO touting the utility’s new “smart grid” technology and upcoming legislative goals in Springfield.

“She really is second to none,” City Club President Jay Doherty said in his gushing October 2015 introduction of Anne Pramaggiore, who at the time was a rising corporate star and one of the country’s top female executives. Then Doherty raised a finger and pointed to another luminary he’d spotted in the audience.

“You know, while Anne’s coming up here I just realized, we have the chairman of the CHA, John Hooker, right there!” Doherty exclaimed about Hooker, one of ComEd’s top lobbyists and the newly appointed board chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority. “John, stand up! Give him a round of applause!”

Seven years after that portentous event, Doherty, Pramaggiore and Hooker will be together again on a much different stage: As defendants at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in one of the biggest political corruption cases the state has ever seen.

Read more here.

Defendant Anne Pramaggiore walks down Dearborn Street after exiting the U.S. Dirksen Courthouse in downtown Chicago following the first day of the “ComEd Four” bribery conspiracy trial, March 14, 2023.

Of all the players in the sprawling ComEd bribery investigation, the powerful politicians, connected lobbyists, precinct captains, consultants and door knockers, it’s the business executive with the background in theater who stands out as miscast in the still-unfolding drama.

Former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, a theater major from central Ohio who became a rising star in the male-dominated corporate world, often came off as a brainy mix of business savvy and homespun directness that put people, including public officials, at ease.

Read more here.

Retired lobbyist Michael McClain enters the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse on the first day of the “ComEd Four” bribery conspiracy trial, March 14, 2023.

One of the central allegations in the “ComEd Four” bribery conspiracy trial promises a fascinating look at how the unending struggle over the reins of political power in Illinois can create some odd alliances.

Afternoon Briefing


Chicago Tribune editors’ top story picks, delivered to your inbox each afternoon.

According to the indictment, then-House Speaker Michael Madigan participated in a two-year effort to get a onetime political nemesis, Juan Ochoa, appointed to a lucrative position on Commonwealth Edison’s board, part of a larger scheme by the utility to harness the Democratic speaker’s influence in Springfield.

Ochoa, a businessman, failed political candidate and former boss of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, has not been charged.

Instead, he’s expected to be a star witness for prosecutors, giving his insider account of how the appointment came about, beginning with meetings with Madigan, the now-indicted longest-serving speaker in American history, and several other elite members of Chicago’s political class, including two powerful Latino congressmen and a former mayor.

Read more here.

More that two years after their indictment, the defendants known as the “ComEd Four” entered Chicago’s downtown federal courthouse for the first time on Tuesday to face charges alleging they conspired to bribe former House Speaker Michael Madigan.

After about seven hours of questioning potential jurors in the hot-button case, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber wrapped for the day about 5 p.m., with a pool of just over 60 members of the panel told to come back to court Wednesday for another round.

Read more here.

Source : https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/criminal-justice/ct-cb-comed-four-trial-20230315-lfnjz5szkvaaxcf32z2vr5cqji-story.html#ed=rss_www.chicagotribune.com/arcio/rss/category/news/

Leave a Comment

SMM Panel PDF Kitap indir