Following a slew of scandals and corruption, state Rep. Michael Madigan announced his resignation from the Illinois House on Thursday.
Madigan has represented a Southwest Side district for 50 years, according to the Chicago Tribune, and the majority of that time was spent as the speaker.
Madigan, whose resignation is effective at the end of this month, was removed from his speaker position in January, amidst a federal corruption probe. Commonwealth Edison admitted in federal court last year that it engaged in a yearslong bribery scheme with the lawmaker.
However, Madigan has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of the scheme.
“It’s no secret that I have been the target of vicious attacks by people who sought to diminish my many achievements lifting up the working people of Illinois,” he said in a statement. “The fact is, my motivation for holding elected office has never wavered. I have been resolute in my dedication to public service and integrity, always acting in the interest of the people of Illinois.”
“It has been my great honor to serve the people of Illinois as speaker of the House and state representative of the 22nd District,” he said. “This journey would not have been possible without my wonderful wife, Shirley, and children, Lisa, Tiffany, Nicole and Andrew, who have stood by my side year after year, providing their love and support despite the pressure of growing up in the public spotlight. I am fortunate to have them in my life.”
The democrat lawmaker has become the longest-serving legislative House speaker in American history, all while managing to emerge from scandal seemingly unscathed.
Madigan and ComEd were involved in a longstanding history of mutual corruption. ComEd worked to illegally influence legislation between 2011 and 2019, receiving $150 million in legislative benefits from its bribery efforts. Several ComEd lobbyists were indicted for allegedly conspiring to give contracts, jobs and money to Madigan allies in order to entice and reward the speaker for supporting legislation favorable to the utility.
But, Madigan has never been charged with a crime.
Madigan has been blamed for all of Illinois’ problems for 2 decades and through 5 governors. Now, who will inherit the mantle for blame?