Pritzker ‘disappointed’ committee investigating Madigan didn’t call him to testify in bribery scheme


Gov. J.B. Pritzker stands by his previous statements that House Speaker Michael Madigan needs to answer questions about the ComEd bribery scheme.

Madigan, D-Chicago, hasn’t been charged by federal prosecutors, but he has been implicated time and again in criminal proceedings against five individuals and in a deferred prosecution agreement with the utility. The longtime speaker of the House has denied he’s done anything wrong.

Pritzker Tuesday reacted to the House Special Investigating Committee concluding their work Monday without having the speaker testify to ComEd’s admissions it paid $1.3 million to Madigan associates in an influence scheme.

“I’m really disappointed that with the forum of the special committee that that was not taken up as an opportunity to answer questions,” Pritzker said. “But, listen, the speaker can hold a press conference today. He could call one right now and answer questions and I hope that he would.”

After voting to end the investigating committee Monday, state Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, acknowledged to the media that the governor said the Speaker should take questions or resign.

“The governor has been very clear in his words, he has said the speaker should address these issues and he should do them at a podium and take questions from people like you,” Welch said. “He didn't say anything about the speaker coming before the Special Investigating Committee.”

But last month Pritzker said Madigan must answer all questions or resign.

“Written statements and dodged investigatory hearings are not going to cut it,” Pritzker said Nov. 19. “If the speaker cannot commit to that level of transparency then the time has come for him to resign as speaker.”

State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, wondered if Madgian would listen to the governor.

“We’ll see if the speaker actually holds the governor’s opinions in any regard on that sort,” Mazzochi said Monday.

Messages seeking comment from Madigan’s spokesperson were not immediately returned.

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