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Madigan Right-Hand Man Indicted For Lying To Grand Jury In ComEd Bribery Investigation

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On the right: Tim Mapes

SPRINGFIELD – A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted former House Speaker Mike Madigan’s longtime chief of staff for lying under oath during the grand jury’s investigation of electric utility Commonwealth Edison’s admitted bribery scheme benefitting Madigan.

Tim Mapes, who served as Madigan’s chief of staff from 2001 until his ouster after sexual harassment allegations in 2018, was testifying under an immunity order in late March, meaning he was immune from prosecution in exchange for information. Mapes was told he could be prosecuted if he lied in the proceeding.

But according to the grand jury’s indictment, Mapes lied anyway while answering questions about the relationship between Madigan and his longtime confidante Mike McClain, who was indicted along with three other former ComEd lobbyists and executives in November for allegedly orchestrating the bribery scheme. 

Read more: Key Madigan Ally, ComEd Lobbyists And Official Indicted In Federal Bribery Scheme

Madigan has not been charged, but the recency of Mapes’ testimony makes it clear U.S. Attorney John Lausch has continued to pursue the case after Democratic U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth asked President Joe Biden’s Justice Department in February to spare the Trump appointee’s job to allow Lausch’s continued investigations into possible public corruption.

The longtime speaker failed to garner enough support to win him a historic 19th term as House Democratic leader in January after a growing number of his members publicly vowed to not re-elect him as speaker. He stepped down from the legislature and as head of the Democratic Party of Illinois in February, seven months after federal prosecutors revealed Madigan as “Public Official A” — the alleged target of ComEd’s years-long bribery scheme.

Madigan has not been charged, but the recency of Mapes’ testimony makes it clear U.S. Attorney John Lausch has continued to pursue the case after Democratic U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth asked President Joe Biden’s Justice Department in February to spare the Trump appointee’s job to allow Lausch’s continued investigations into possible public corruption.

The longtime speaker failed to garner enough support to win him a historic 19th term as House Democratic leader in January after a growing number of his members publicly vowed to not re-elect him as speaker. He stepped down from the legislature and as head of the Democratic Party of Illinois in February, seven months after federal prosecutors revealed Madigan as “Public Official A” — the alleged target of ComEd’s years-long bribery scheme.

Read more: Welch Sworn In As House Speaker, Ending Madigan’s Decades-Long Hold On Illinois Politics

In July, ComEd signed a $200 million deferred prosecution agreement acknowledging its executives and lobbyists — and executives from its parent company, nuclear giant Exelon, had at least since 2011 arranged jobs and contracts for Madigan allies in an attempt to curry favor with the powerful House Speaker. 

The 11-page indictment charges Mapes with one count each of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Mapes’ attorneys disputed the charges, saying his “honest recollections in response to vague and imprecise questions about events that allegedly took place many years ago simply do not constitute perjury.”

“This case, of course, is not about him — but about the government’s continued pursuit of his former boss,” Mapes’ attorneys said in a statement, referring to Madigan. “Tim Mapes has in no way engaged in obstruction of justice and looks forward to prevailing at trial when all of the facts are aired.”

Chief of staff to Madigan wasn’t Mapes’ only job before his 2018 resignation. At the time, he was also executive director at the Democratic Party of Illinois, where Madigan was chair, and clerk of the Illinois House.

The indictment opens another window into the feds’ continued investigation that’s drawn ever-nearer to Madigan since the initial slow drip of news reports of raids on allies of the former speaker in the summer of 2019. The special grand jury that indicted Mapes has been active since January of that year.

Mapes’ testimony highlighted in the indictment centers around whether McClain continued serving as an “agent” of Madigan after his retirement as a ComEd lobbyist in 2016. 

Madigan and McClain served in the Illinois House in the 1970s. McClain went on to a long career at ComEd.

Asked about his friend’s retirement at the time, Madigan said McClain “had an outstanding career as a legislator and a lobbyist, operating with complete honesty and integrity.”

But after his retirement as an official lobbyist, McClain was still retained as a consultant — a job description self-styled political reform groups have taken to calling a distinction without a difference.

The grand jury asked McClain whether Madigan ever directed McClain to interact with House members or “perform sensitive tasks” or “exercise [Madigan’s] power and authority.”

Additionally, Mapes was asked whether McClain assisted Madigan with issues before the Illinois House or within the House, whether McClain “performed any work…or received assignments from [Madigan] between 2017 and 2019” and whether Madigan used McClain “as a means of communicating messages” during that time period.

Madigan infamously eschewed communication technology that could be easily tracked like cell phones and email. 

“So one of the things we were trying to figure out, Mr. Mapes, is whether or not — kind of a key issue for us — is whether or not [McClain] acted as an agent for [Madigan] in any respect,” the grand jury told Mapes, according to the indictment, adding they were particularly interested in 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

“Are you aware of any facts that would help us understand whether or not, in fact, [McClain] acted as an agent or performed work for [Madigan] or took direction from [Madigan] in that timeframe?” the grand jury asked Mapes.

Mapes answered that he didn’t know “who you would go to other than” Madigan and McClain.

“[Madigan], if he had people do things for him like I did things for him, was — didn’t distribute information freely,” Mapes replied, according to the indictment.

The grand jury asked Mapes several variations on the same question surrounding whether he knew whether McClain was working with or on behalf of Madigan in any capacity.

“I’m not aware of any,” Mapes said replying to one version of the question. “I’m not aware of that activity. Let’s put it that way.”

However the indictment says Mapes did, in fact, have intimate knowledge that McClain was working on Madigan’s behalf, as Mapes was the one who was fielding those calls and emails from McClain.

Communication between Mapes and McClain continued even after Mapes resigned as Madigan’s chief of staff in June 2018, about a week after lawmakers’ spring legislative session concluded. Mapes was accused of sexual harassment over several years and fostering “a culture of sexism, harassment and bullying that creates an extremely difficult working environment.”

The feds also wiretapped McClain’s phone, as reported by the Chicago Tribune in Nov. 2019.

McClain allegedly told Mapes about discussions he and Madigan had, and also described the tasks Madigan asked Mapes to perform, according to the indictment. McClain also asked Mapes’ advice about those matters, prosecutors alleged. 

Mapes was served with a grand jury subpoena to testify on Feb. 12, according to the indictment.

Six days later, Madigan resigned from the House.

Read more: Madigan Resigns After 50 Years In Legislature — One Month After Being Forced Out As House Speaker

McClain and the other three former ComEd and Exelon lobbyists and executives have maintained their innocence, while Ex-ComEd CEO Vice President Fidel Marquez pleaded guilty to a corruption charge connected to the scheme in September and is cooperating with prosecutors.

Mapes’ indictment comes as lawmakers are wrapping up the final six days in their regular spring legislative session, tackling divisive issues that Mapes, Madigan and McClain had major sway over for decades: legislative redistricting and energy policy.

Republicans on Wednesday pounced on the opportunity, asking their Democratic colleagues to leave Madigan — and his tactics, particularly on redistricting — behind. 

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