* Let’s go back to the end of my Crain’s column from earlier this month, which compared and contrasted the leadership styles of House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, particularly as it relates to the ongoing corruption probe…
When Sen. Ira Silverstein resigned his Senate Democratic leadership after allegations were made of sexual misconduct, and when Cullerton’s cousin was moved out of his Labor Committee chairmanship, the actions were portrayed as a “mutual decision.”
No way would a guy like Sandoval agree to such a “mutual decision.” And no way would Cullerton push him out under these circumstances.
Madigan’s top-down approach has caused him endless grief and even some federal lawsuits, but, for better or worse, I doubt he would have behaved like Cullerton in this [Sandoval] instance.
We saw that clearly play out this week when Madigan quickly started the process of kicking Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) out of office.
* We discussed this a bit yesterday…
State Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said there are intricacies to each case, including the charges filed against Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park.
“There are issues dealing with whether or not the activity alleged directly relates to the legislature – like taking a bribe to pass a bill, something like that – as opposed to something that’s not related,” John Cullerton said.
Tom Cullerton was removed from his position the chairman of the Senate Labor Committee after he was charged with embezzling from the Teamsters union. He was made the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, a move that allowed him to keep a leadership stipend that comes on top of his base salary.
I think an argument could be made that the charges against Tom Cullerton did relate to the legislature. Would he have allegedly obtained that allegedly ghost-payroll job if he wasn’t a state Senator?
Look, I have always liked Tom. I thought he was a decent blue-collar legislator and I was pretty shocked at his indictment, as were plenty of others. But it is what it is. The Senate is the legislative branch, not the judicial branch, so things like due process don’t always translate from one to the other.
State Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park — who has been accused in a federal indictment of being a ghost payroller for the Teamsters — has been in attendance for veto session this week. But state Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, has not shown up for session. Sandoval’s offices and home were raided last month as FBI agents sought evidence of kickbacks in exchange for official actions — as well as information related to five Illinois Department of Transportation employees and several lobbyists. Sandoval, who was a key figure in passing the capital bill, has not been charged.
As part of his bail, Rep. Arroyo was ordered not to have any contact with anyone involved with his case, including the unnamed Senator he allegedly attempted to bribe. As long as that Senator is in Springfield, Arroyo can’t show up without risking a violation. Like he would show up anyway, but you get the idea.