Judge sets sentencing dates for ‘ComEd Four’

About three months before he’s slated to go to trial on racketeering charges alongside former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Madigan’s longtime confidant Michael McClain is set to be sentenced on bribery charges.

McClain and his co-defendants — former Commonwealth Edison CEO Anne Pramaggiore, retired ComEd executive John Hooker and former City Club of Chicago President Jay Doherty — were found guilty Tuesday in an elaborate scheme to influence Madigan that funneled $1.3 million in payments to the speaker’s political allies.

A federal judge on Friday set McClain to be the first among the “ComEd Four” to be sentenced, on Jan. 11. Pramaggiore’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 16; Hooker, Jan. 25; and Doherty, Jan. 30.

The trial of Madigan and McClain, in a separate case that includes the ComEd allegations as well as a smaller scheme involving AT&T, is scheduled to begin next April.

The defendants each face up to five years in prison on counts related to the conspiracy to bribe Madigan. Individual counts of bribery carry sentences up to 10 years, and charges related to falsifying records have a 20-year maximum sentence.

Sentencing dates often are delayed, and McClain would likely petition Judge Harry D. Leinenweber to move his trial until the conclusion of the racketeering case.

While he didn’t face charges in the ComEd trial that ended this week, Madigan was a key character in the prosecution’s case. His voice was heard on several of the hundreds of recordings made by former political cronies who turned government cooperators.

Prosecutors and witnesses described Madigan’s near-total control of the state legislature, which ComEd hoped to leverage to get passed legislation that was favorable to the utility company’s bottom line.

To get to the speaker, ComEd essentially created a patronage job system inside the company, where consultants recommended by Madigan were hired to do little or no work. At trial, lawyers for the four defendants characterized the hiring as typical, legal lobbying.

Source : https://chicago.suntimes.com/2023/5/5/23712941/comed-four-defendants-sentencing-dates-set-federal-judge-mcclain-madigan-trial-2024

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