* Ray Long and Jason Meisner at the Tribune…
Federal authorities have asked questions about Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and his political operation as part of an ongoing investigation, four people who have been interviewed told the Tribune.
The sources, all of whom requested anonymity, said FBI agents and prosecutors asked about connections between Commonwealth Edison lobbyists and Madigan, lobbyists giving contracts to people tied to the speaker, and city, state and suburban government jobs held by his associates.
They also said authorities had numerous questions about the speaker’s relationship and dealings with longtime confidant Michael McClain, a former ComEd lobbyist.
“These were the people they were most focused on,” according to one person interviewed by authorities.
You should definitely read the rest of that story. Lots more in it.
* Meanwhile, here’s Dan Mihalopoulos and Dave McKinney at WBEZ…
After retiring from Cook County, Raymond Nice supplemented his public pension checks with a job representing Commonwealth Edison’s interests in county government.
For Nice – a longtime campaign operative for Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan – the job paid as much as $60,000 a year on top of his annual pension of more than $70,000, records show.
Nice answered to ComEd lobbyist and City Club of Chicago President Jay Doherty. Earlier this year, Nice disclosed that his work involved talking to county officials about ComEd’s business operations “when requested by Jay Doherty.”
But records show Nice’s job ended on July 1 – weeks after FBI agents raided the nonprofit City Club’s offices in the Wrigley Building in mid-May as part of a broad public corruption investigation into ComEd.
Authorities sought documents about Madigan and ComEd as they probed allegations the giant power company had hired multiple politically connected consultants – including some with ties to Madigan – under deals that demanded little or no work, WBEZ has reported. A source involved in the investigation has told WBEZ the feds are looking into suspicions that Doherty served as a “pass through” for ComEd’s deals with clout hires.
Uh-oh. Again, read the rest. Nice was definitely Madigan’s guy. I’m told Madigan only requested a tiny handful of appointments from newly elected Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2015, and Nice was one of them.