State Rep. LaShawn Ford steps up to defend House Speaker Michael Madigan as calls for resignation continue

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The pressure continues on House Speaker Mike Madigan to be more forthcoming about the ComEd bribery case that named him as "Public Official A."

But a state representative from Chicago is coming to Madigan's defense after speaking to him yesterday.

House Speaker Michael Madigan polling Democratic caucus on whether he should step down

One day after Madigan made a series of phone calls to gauge support from House Democrats, and then, satisfied he had it, declaring that he has no plans to resign, Madigan is facing another call for greater transparency.

"He needs to stand up to answer those questions I've said this from the very beginning. I believe that people who serve the public interest people who get elected to public office have a duty to be transparent," said Governor JB Pritzker.

Earlier this month ComEd admitted to awarding jobs and contracts valuing $1.3 million dollars to Madigan associates with the intent to reward Madigan for helping pass legislation that benefited ComEd.

ComEd to pay $200M in federal bribery investigation; Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan implicated in charge

A number of women in the House Democratic caucus have called for Madigan to step down.

He has denied any wrongdoing and seems poised to maintain the position he has held for decades.

Among the lawmakers Madigan called Thursday was State Representative La Shawn Ford from Chicago.

"If he gives me his word that he sees no reason for him to step down, that he's still feels strong and that he can lead, then I have no reason not to support him," Ford said.

Madigan's ability to get legislation passed one reason there may not be wide-spread rebellion in his caucus.

"I've made it clear that one of the reasons why we need to support him at this time too is because we have a Black agenda that we have to get passed in Springfield. This is the moment, we got the momentum, and the speaker is committed to helping us pass a Black agenda," Ford said.

While Madigan says he has no intention of resigning, a demonstration is still planned outside his office Saturday to keep up the pressure both on Madigan and those who continue to stand with him.
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