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

Michelle Gallardo Image
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Prosecutors rest their case in 'ComEd Four' trial
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Former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore told the judge she's ready to testify in her own defense, which could happen as soon as Thursday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The prosecution rested Wednesday in the trial of the "ComEd Four," and one of those accused in the bribery case told the judge she's ready to testify in her own defense.

Even before the jury walked into the courtroom on Wednesday, defense attorneys in the ComEd Four trial took their turn trying to acquit their respective clients of the corruption charges against them. Each denied that there was ever a concerted effort on their behalf to bribe then House Speaker Mike Madigan in exchange for legislation favorable to the utility company.

"They utterly failed to prove that because it isn't true," said attorney Scott Lassar, of the government's case adding. "There was no scheme to pass legislation."

Ultimately, the motions were unsuccessful.

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"The evidence is clear that this was on the minds of the defendants...They were concerned enough, that they would go to great extremes to keep Madigan happy," Judge Harry Leinenweber said.

With that, a few exhibits later, the government rested its case turning it over to the defense to prove to the jury that their clients are indeed innocent.

First up was ex-ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore's defense team, who called as their initial witness a former ComEd executive who was part of the process to develop and negotiate some of the legislation in question at the trial. Val Jensen said the company didn't get everything it wanted and that it was coalition building with environmental and labor groups that ultimately led to the bill's success.

"Did anyone at ComEd anyone ever say they should call in a favor with Mike Madigan to pass the bill?" Pramaggiore's attorney asked.

"I never heard that," replied Jensen.

It is not yet clear whether any of the defendants other than Pramaggiore will take the stand themselves. Of the four, only she has indicated that she would. That testimony could come as early as Thursday.