Southern Illinois – House Democrats shut down further proceedings of the House Special Investigating Committee formed to look into potential conduct unbecoming of a legislator by Mike Madigan on Monday. After the Committee met only twice previously and heard testimony from only one witness, Republican State Representatives from Southern Illinois are sounding off on the decision.
State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) says she watched in disgust as Special Investigating Committee Chair Emanuel “Chris” Welch squashed the ability of the committee to issue subpoenas to compel testimony from parties mentioned in the now infamous deferred prosecution agreement entered into by Commonwealth Edison. The deferred prosecution agreement requires ComEd to pay $200 million in fines to the Federal government for its role in a decade-long bribery scheme aimed at influencing and rewarding long-time House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.
“Quite simply, to Democrats that run Illinois government, ethics reform and holding public officials accountable for reprehensible behavior is just not that important,” Bryant said. “The evidence is clear. Chairman Welch called the House Special Investigating Committee a ‘show trial’ and a ‘stunt’. I couldn’t agree more. Chairman Welch’s leadership of this investigation will forever be remembered for its lack of seriousness, lack of due diligence, and lack of legitimate effort to get to the bottom of the serious charges contained in the deferred prosecution agreement that implicates House Speaker Michael J. Madigan as Public Official A.”
State Rep. Patrick Windhorst is a member of the Illinois House Joint Commission on Lobbying and Ethics Reform. Windhorst notes that Committee has not met since March and missed its deadline to file its first report.
“The House Special Investigating Committee was formed using Mike Madigan’s own House Rules. Those Rules allow fellow legislators to fully investigate any behavior, criminal or otherwise, that could be deemed unbecoming of a legislator,” Windhorst said. “This ‘investigating’ committee met only three times, heard from one single witness, and has now adjourned indefinitely. The political protection racket for Mike Madigan continues despite indictments, guilty pleas, and a swirling investigation. What we saw in the House Special Investigating Committee was politics as usual at its worst in Illinois.”
State Rep. Dave Severin says he looks forward to the day that Mike Madigan no longer makes the news.
“The Democrats in charge of investigating Mike Madigan’s unethical behavior worked hard to protect him this time, stonewalling and completely shutting down the investigation into his potential wrongdoing,” Severin said. “I will be back for the 102nd General Assembly. My first vote will be a big NO on Mike Madigan for Speaker. His reign will come to an end sooner or later. Obviously, the Democrats on the House Special Investigating Committee are Madigan’s allies. There are more than enough Democrats that have indicated that Madigan will not be re-elected as Speaker. Why Democrat members of the House Special Investigating Committee felt the need to protect Mike Madigan and work to keep him in power is beyond my ability to comprehend. The people of our state deserve so much better than this political debacle and failed investigation.”