SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said taxpayers “don’t deserve a political circus” on Thursday when he gave powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan a choice: Answer questions about a federal bribery investigation which implicates him, or give up the gavel after three decades of iron-grip control.
It was the strongest statement yet from the Democratic governor, coming a day after federal prosecutors delivered bribery and conspiracy indictments on Madigan’s closest confidant and three others in an ongoing probe of a decade-long scheme involving ComEd. The utility giant has admitted handing out $1.3 million in no-work lobbying jobs and sub-contracts to Madigan allies in exchange for favorable legislation. Court documents in the investigation have not named Madigan but identify him by title.
“If Speaker Madigan wants to continue in a position of enormous public trust with such a serious ethical cloud hanging over his head, then he has to, at the very least, be willing to stand in