One of Illinois’ most powerful Democrats may be facing prison time.
Michael Madigan, the former Democratic Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, was indicted on federal corruption charges on Wednesday.
The indictment claims that Madigan, who served in the state senate for over four decades, sought and accepted payments in order to push legislation.
It goes on to accuse the former congressman of utilizing intimidation and extortion to obtain benefits from private parties, as well as using interstate commerce facilities to organize, plan, and advance the enterprise’s goals.
Prosecutors claim that his efforts were done to earn cash for the Madigan Enterprise’s members and affiliates through illicit operations.
“The conduct alleged in this indictment is deplorable and a stark violation of the public’s trust. Michael Madigan must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement on Wednesday.
Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Chris Welch issued a statement of his own, stating that this subject should be handled in a court of law, away from the legislature.
Madigan, for his part, issued his own statement to NBC5 Chicago, disputing the government’s charges.
He stated, “I was never involved in any criminal activity.
He vehemently disputed the allegations and proudly reflected on his career as an elected politician in Illinois, serving the public.