Mike Madigan's motion to delay federal bribery trial to October approved by judge

SCOTUS to rule on similar corruption case for former mayor of Portage, IN

BySarah Schulte and Tom Jones WLS logo
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Mike Madigan federal bribery trial delayed to October
Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan appeared in court Wednesday as prosecutors tried to deny his request for his bribery trial to be delayed.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The federal bribery trial of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has been delayed to October.

Madigan's first in-court appearance Wednesday since he was indicted almost two years ago paid off.

In a new filing, federal prosecutors asked the judge to deny Madigan's motion to delay his trial, which was initially set for April 1.

A judge approved Madigan's motion to delay. The trail will now begin Oct. 8.

When asked by the judge if he agreed with the new trial date, Madigan replied, "Yes, I do, your honor." It was the only time Madigan spoke.

Madigan faces federal racketeering and bribery charges. Michael McClain is a co-defendant in the trial.

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Madigan's defense attorneys claimed the trial should wait until the US Supreme Court rules on a separate bribery case, which is expected to happen by June.

The SCOTUS case at issue involves a bribery conviction of the former Portage, Indiana, Mayor James Snyder. He was convicted of accepting $13,000 after steering a contract to a certain company. It was not a quid pro quo. The money came after, in the form of a gratuity or reward.

"Some Courts have held you need some sort of quid pro-quo understanding the statute to apply, other courts including the federal appellate that covers Chicago, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin says that no this statute covers gratuities that are paid to officials as a reward," Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Dylan Smith said.

It will be up the Supreme Court to define the federal bribery statute that is widely used by prosecutors in public corruption case. Several of the charges against Madigan involve the statute.

"It is really pretty standard in the federal prosecutors tool kit, what the Supreme Court rules about the federal statute will apply for the whole country," Smith said.

While he was reluctant to delay the trial, Judge John Blakey said he would rather do it right than risk trying the case twice.

In a response to the delay, Illinois House Minority Leader Tony McCombie released a statement saying, "It is disappointing to wait for justice to be serviced to Mike Madigan and his corrupt associates."