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Comed 4 trial coverage roundup

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

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    * Sun-Times | ComEd CEO ‘wanted to make sure that we did everything possible’ to earn Madigan’s favor, feds’ key witness testifies: Former ComEd executive turned government informant Fidel Marquez called his ex-boss a “close” and “personal friend,” then detailed how she funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to associates of former House Speaker Michael Madigan to stay on his winning side. The government’s star witness took the stand at the ComEd bribery trial on Monday as prosecutors presented FBI recordings and internal ComEd documents showing the money went to people who allegedly did no work for the utility company.

    * Tribune | Feds’ star witness takes stand in ‘ComEd Four’ trial, testifying utility worked to gain leverage with Michael Madigan: The roster of “subcontractors” was curated by Madigan’s longtime confidant, Michael McClain, and read like a who’s who of Madigan’s vaunted political operation, including two legendary precinct captains, a former assistant majority leader in the House and two former Chicago alderman at the center of Madigan’s Southwest Side base of power, according to Marquez. Over the course of eight years, ComEd paid them hundreds of thousands of dollars, even though they had no particular expertise and ultimately did virtually no work for the utility. Some seemed to be downright incompetent, Marquez said.

    * Amanda Vinicky | Star Witness Takes the Stand in ComEd Trial, Testifies About Efforts to Influence Michael Madigan: Marquez took the stand and uncoded an email about the legislation for a federal jury tasked with deciding the fate of four of Marquez’s former colleagues. ComEd wanted to kill the rate-reduction plan, but was “concerned” because it was a signature effort of the speaker’s daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Marquez said.

    * NBC Chicago | Prosecution’s Star Witness Takes the Stand in Trial of ‘ComEd Four’: Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet S. Bhachu wasted no time in asking Marquez, “Did you break the law during your employment Com Ed?” “Yes sir,” he said. “What crime was that?” Bhachu asked. “Conspiracy to commit bribery of Michael Madigan,” Marquez responded.

    * Crain’s | Star witness, government mole Fidel Marquez takes stand in ‘ComEd Four’ trial: When Zalewski was added to Doherty’s payroll at $5,000 per month — Marquez asked McClain what he was thinking “numbers-wise” for Zalewski, and McClain responded with “5″ — Pramaggiore had to update Doherty’s contract to add $5,000. That came out of her budget, and she signed the contract. Played for the jury was the recording of one of the most quoted exchanges Pramaggiore had with McClain in an intercepted call — one that had been highlighted in pre-trial filings. “The only question Fidel had,” she went on with McClain, “is there anybody we could sort of take off the roster? … We got a lot of people hanging out there,” she said.

    * ABC Chicago | Former ComEd executive and prosecution’s star witness Fidel Marquez testifies: Those conversations, many of which are expected to be played for the jury over the next couple of days, are expected to reveal the hiring of several Madigan associates as subcontractors for ComEd for little to no-work jobs. Those associates include: former 13th Ward Alderman Frank Olivo. former 23rd Ward Alderman Mike Zalewski, former 13th Ward Precinct Captains Ray Nice and Ed Moody, and former State Representative Eddie Acevedo.

    * Center Square | Ex-ComEd executive says utility shifted money to friends of powerful politician: Marquez detailed how payments were made through contract lobbyists and how those arrangements changed over time. For example, Moody was paid as a subcontractor through Shaw Decremer, but when Decremer got in trouble for harassment, Moody’s payments were shifted to a contract with former state Rep. John Bradley, Marquez said. […] Marquez is expected to return to the witness stand on Tuesday. He has yet to face cross-examination.

    * Jim Dey | Reclusive Madigan pulled strings from behind the scenes: “I know you’ve got a law degree, but you’re more of a street fighter than anybody knows, except maybe for guys like me. And if you want to put the squeeze on the guy, you could hurt him pretty badly.” That’s a snippet of a conversation between Michael McClain, one of four defendants in the Commonwealth Edison bribery conspiracy trial, and former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who won’t go to trial until next year.

    * Telephone conversation between Michael McClain and Anne Pramaggiore | ComEd Exhibit 18-T: Michael McClain and Anne Pramaggiore have a conversation, Pramaggiore tells McClain “This never would’ve happened without you and John.”

    * Telephone conversation between Michael McClain and Fidel Marquez | ComEd Exhibit 23-T: Michael McClain and Fidel Marquez have a conversation, McClain says “Let me just tell you about each guy.”


  1. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 10:30 am:

    Everyone needs to listen to this call between McClain and Pramaggiore. It is a Barneyesque love-fest between the ComEd CEO and Madigan’s alter ego. “I love you guys. I wouldn’t be here without you and the Speaker.”

    Simply put, there is no more illustrative piece of tape about the intimate and wildly corrupt relationship between ComEd and the Speaker than this tape. Trust me. LISTEN TO THIS RECORDING.

  2. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 10:30 am:

  3. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 10:33 am:

    ‘wanted to make sure that we did everything possible’

    If one having enough political power people feel that way about you, metaphorically, shouldn’t Quinn, Blagojevich, Pate Philip, Ryan, Edgar, [and in spirit] Thompson, and Walker be in the dock?

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