(The Center Square) – A federal judge began whittling down a pool of more than 70 prospective jurors Tuesday morning in the case of four former ComEd executives and agents accused of corruptly trying to influence one of Illinois’ most powerful politicians.
Judge Harry Leinenweber questioned more than two dozen jurors as jury selection got underway Tuesday, more than 2 1/2 years after the four were first indicted.
Former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker, former ComEd consultant Jay Doherty and former lobbyist and state lawmaker Michael McClain have all pleaded “not guilty” to conspiracy, bribery, and willfully falsifying ComEd books and records.
The four are accused of a multi-year scheme to gain former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s support for legislation that would benefit ComEd.
Tuesday was the first time the defendants had appeared in court since the indictment in November 2020.
Most of the judge’s questions were done in sidebar, which could only be heard by the prosecutors, defendants and their attorneys listening through headphones.
Before the jury selection began Tuesday, Leinenweber allowed an attorney representing media outlets to intervene to get access to get copies of recordings admitted as evidence in the trial. The judge granted the media motion over objections from McClain’s attorney Patrick Cotter.
Prosecutors plan to introduce wiretap evidence during the case.
This article First appeared in the center square