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Former Speaker Michael Madigan’s racketeering trial set for April 2024

Former Speaker of the House Michael Madigan will go on trial in April 2024.

The highly anticipated racketeering trial of former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan has been set for April 1, 2024.

The trial, which is expected to last six or seven weeks, was scheduled during a brief status hearing in Madigan’s case on Monday before U.S. District Judge John Blakey.

It’s been nearly a year since a federal grand jury indicted Madigan and his longtime confidant, Michael McClain. The indictment was the result of a yearslong, aggressive public corruption investigation that also led to charges against former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and onetime City Club President Jay Doherty.

Madigan is accused of leading a “criminal enterprise” for nearly a decade designed to enhance his political power and generate income for his allies and associates. He ended his record-breaking tenure as Illinois’ House speaker amid the burgeoning scandal two years ago. 

His trial would amount to the biggest public corruption trial at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse since the trials of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

In October, the feds expanded their racketeering conspiracy case against Madigan and McClain, alleging they worked with onetime AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza to have $22,500 paid to former state Rep. Edward Acevedo amid an attempt to influence Madigan in favor of the company.

Acevedo has not been charged in that scheme. He pleaded guilty in 2021 to tax evasion and served a six-month prison sentence.

Meanwhile, McClain is set to go to trial in March, along with Pramaggiore, Hooker and Doherty. That lengthy trial before U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber will likely serve as a preview of Madigan’s trial, as it focuses on an alleged attempt by that group to sway the speaker which is also featured in Madigan’s indictment.

Chicago’s federal court has been trying to play catch-up this year following the lengthy delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also set to go to trial this year are Timothy Mapes, Madigan’s former chief of staff who is charged with perjury, and Chicago Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), who is also charged with racketeering.

The trials of Burke and Madigan are each expected to feature the testimony of former Chicago Ald. Danny Solis (25th), who agreed to cooperate with the feds after being confronted with evidence of his own wrongdoing.
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