Michael Madigan’s legal bills connected to an ongoing federal corruption probe skyrocketed in the first three months of this year as he was ousted from his longtime role as Illinois House speaker and resigned the legislative seat he occupied for a half-century.
Madigan’s main campaign fund, Friends of Michael J. Madigan, paid almost $2.7 million in legal fees to law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman from January through March, nearly $1 million more than he paid the firm in 2020, according to state campaign finance records.
Madigan, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, hired Katten last year to represent him in the federal corruption case, but a spokeswoman for the former speaker declined to comment Friday on the reason for his rising legal bills.
Commonwealth Edison admitted in federal court last summer that it engaged in a yearslong bribery scheme to curry favor with Madigan and agreed to pay a record $200 million and cooperate with prosecutors. Top ComEd officials and lobbyists, including longtime Madigan confident Michael McClain, have been charged in connection with the case, though all but one have pleaded not guilty.
Madigan has denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of the scheme, but the scandal undermined his support among fellow House Democrats, who elected state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch of Hillside as the new speaker in January.