All defendants found guilty on all counts in 'ComEd 4' trial surrounding ex-Speaker Mike Madigan

ComEd bribery case: Mike McClain, Anne Pramaggiore, John Hooker, Jay Doherty guilty on all counts

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Wednesday, May 3, 2023
All defendants found guilty on all counts in 'ComEd 4' trial
ComEd Four trial verdict was guilty for defendants Mike McClain, Anne Pramaggiore, John Hooker and Jay Doherty on all counts.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A jury found all defendants in the "ComEd Four" trial guilty on all counts on Tuesday afternoon.

Jurors deliberated for five days before finding Mike McClain, Anne Pramaggiore, John Hooker and Jay Doherty guilty on nine different counts of conspiracy, bribery and falsification of records.

"The state of Illinois unfortunately has a deep-seated public corruption problem. Corruption that erodes and eats away at the people's confidence in their government and in their elected officials. Rooting out and prosecuting those who participate in that corruption has been, is and will continue to be the top priority of the United States Attorney's Office," said acting US Attorney Morris Pasqual after the verdict was announced.

What does ComEd verdict mean for Mike Madigan, Ed Burke?

ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington discusses the guilty verdict in the ComEd Four trial.

The defendants were found guilty of engaging in a years-long conspiracy to bribe then-Speaker Mike Madigan to get legislation passed worth hundreds of millions of dollars to ComEd at a time when utility company was on the verge of bankruptcy.

"The criminal conduct in this case was undertaken with corrupt intent to enrich ComEd and to benefit the Speaker of the House and his associates," Pasqual said.

SEE ALSO | ComEd Four trial: Attorneys deliver closing arguments in bribery case surrounding ex-Speaker Madigan

"I think that all in all they're good people that made bad decisions," one juror said as she left the courthouse after the trial. "The argument that the defense did very well to try to prove that this was all the normal course of business did not sit well with us."

That juror said that in the end there was a multitude of evidence to point to the guilt of all four defendants.

Pramaggiore's attorney said they are disappointed in the verdict and will appeal. Attorneys for the other defendants have not commented. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

This is the largest public corruption trial in Illinois in decades, and sets the stage for Madigan's own corruption trial, which is set to begin in April 2024.

Prof. Harold Krent with the Kent College of Law broke down the 'ComEd Four' trial verdict with ABC7 after it was announced Tuesday.

"Illinois is no stranger to public corruption, we know this from Governor Blagojevich and Governor Ryan, but this is a huge investigation, it was a huge verdict, and I think what we'll see next is that prosecutors will try to pressure one of the defendants into cooperating to make their case against Madigan that much easier next year," said Prof. Harold Krent of the Kent College of Law.

Investigative reporter Chuck Goudie breaks down the implications the ComEd Four trial verdict has for former IL House Speaker Mike Madigan at his trial next year.

And the outcome is likely not what was Madigan was hoping for.

"This is the worst case scenario for what amounted to, now, a defacto trial of Mike Madigan," said ABC7 Investigative Reporter Chuck Goudie. "Many of the same issues, many of the same players, this might as well have been Mike Madigan on trial and now you see a slam dunk for the government. It'll be the same prosecutor in court against Mike Madigan. If Mike Madigan is not toast, he certainly is burned badly on one side."

About two hours prior to the verdict's announcement, jurors came to the judge with a question. At the time, their question indicated that there was some uncertainty about whether prosecutors had proved their case, at least regarding the falsification of records counts, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Democratic Illinois Senate President Don Harmon issued a statement about the verdict, saying, "The behavior brought to light and put on display at this trial was shockingly gluttonous and unhealthy to democracy. We've taken concrete steps to discourage bad behavior. But most importantly, I believe we have people committed to behaving better."