Democratic state Sen. Heather Steans is among those calling for Democratic Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan to step down from his post in the wake of his possible involvement in the ComEd bribery scandal.
In a statement, Steans said, "The people of Illinois are facing unprecedented challengesfrom the coronavirus threatening our health, our economy and the education of our children to overdue demands for a more just and equitable society. At such a time, it is imperative that the people of our state can trust in their representatives and that those representatives can trust in their leaders. That is why Michael Madigan should resign as Speaker of the House.
"The revelations contained in the U.S. Attorney's deferred prosecution agreement with Commonwealth Edison paint a sordid picture of bribery, influence peddling and insider-dealing at the highest levels. It shows how yesterday's political patronage system, severely restricted by the courts, has been transferred lock, stock and barrel to a large corporation seeking the government's help.
"Not only does this undermine public trust in government, but it will cost Illinois ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars. This follows on the heels of horrendous revelations of sexual harassment and bullying by those within the Speaker's Office. It is clearly time for a change."
Recently, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said he was "deeply troubled and frankly I'm furious" about the reports of the federal case involving ComEd and Madigan. Pritzker urged Madigan "to fully cooperate with the investigation and answer all questions as quickly as possible."
Madigan was re-elected to his 25th two-year term on Nov. 6, 2018. He has been in office since 1971.