It’s time for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, the long-serving Democrat from Chicago, to resign.
He hasn’t been charged with anything — yet. But Madigan’s effectiveness as a leader in the state can no longer exist in the wake of an agreement the feds reached last week with Commonwealth Edison.
Federal charges unveiled July 17 accused the state’s largest electric utility of orchestrating a “years-long bribery scheme” involving jobs, contracts and payments to Madigan allies in exchange for greasing the wheels for legislation that favored the utility.
ComEd agreed to pay a $200 million fine and to cooperate with the corruption probe. In exchange for helping the feds, prosecution on a single count of bribery would be deferred and possibly dismissed.
We’re shocked – shocked – that such nefarious dealings have been going on in Springfield. (No we’re not. Illinois is the capital of corruption.)
This week Republicans in the Illinois House called on Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker to convene a special session of the General Assembly to focus on ethics reform.
We urge Pritzker to do that, even though he has said it can wait until the fall. And we urge Democratic lawmakers to also insist on that special session. They have been mostly quiet since the ComEd story broke.
Madigan is the state’s most powerful Democrat — serving as House speaker and chairman of his party. He is now too tainted to participate in any discussion of ethics and certainly isn’t the person to lead them as speaker. He should bow out.