'ComEd Four' trial: Former CEO takes stand in her own defense, denies bribery

Michelle Gallardo Image
Friday, April 14, 2023
Former ComEd CEO testifies in federal bribery trial
Anne Pramaggiore, former ComEd CEO, testified Thursday in the federal bribery trial involving alleged payments to former Speaker Mike Madigan.

Former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore testified in federal court Thursday as part of her own defense in the "CoMed Four" trial.

The decision to testify is a risky one for any defendant. Especially in a federal trial such as this one.

Pramaggiore, like her co-defendants, Mike McClain, John Hooker and Jay Doherty, has pled not guilty to the corruption and bribery charges against her.

Pramaggiore denied she was involved in a scheme to bribe former house speaker Mike Madigan in exchange for legislation favorable to ComEd.

See also: 'ComEd Four' trial: Prosecution rests its case as former CEO says she plans to testify

Before proceedings resumed today, prosecutors revealed for the first time that Pramaggiore sat down for what's known as a "proffer" session with the U.S. attorney's office in September 2019, which would indicate at some point she may have been considering a plea deal.

Over the last several weeks, the government, through dozens of phone calls and emails published, have shown a chief executive who, during her six year tenure bent over backwards to keep Madigan happy, repeatedly pushing to hire his political associates for everything from legal contracts to no-work jobs to board seats.

"Did you think ComEd had influence with speaker Madigan so you could call on him to get legislation passed?" defense attorney Scott Lassar asked.

"No," Pramaggiore answered.

Pramaggiore was only on the stand for about 45 minutes, focusing mostly on scene setting for the bulk of her testimony which will resume on Monday.