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Judge in Mapes case says evidence of immunity deal allowed at trial

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(The Center Square) – A judge rejected a bid from Michael Madigan’s former chief of staff to keep mention of his immunity deal out of a trial in which prosecutors allege he failed to keep his end of the deal and lied during grand jury testimony.

Tim Mapes served for years under former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan as the clerk of the Illinois House and as Madigan’s chief of staff. In May 2021, federal prosecutors charged Mapes with lying to a grand jury in a federal probe connected to the longtime former speaker.

U.S. District Judge John Kness denied a motion filed by Mapes’ attorney to keep mention of the immunity deal out of the trial. Mapes had argued that portions of the indictment that referred to the immunity agreement were irrelevant and prejudicial.

Kness said that like an arrest record, “an immunity agreement can create the inference that the witness did something illegal in the past and is likely to do something illegal again.” However, the judge said the motion didn’t pass the test.

“Balancing that relevance against the immunity agreement’s potential prejudicial effect, the Court finds that any potential prejudice is insufficient to justify striking the challenged material from the Indictment,” the judge wrote in the order.

According to the indictment, Mapes acted as a courier exchanging messages between Madigan and former lobbyist and state lawmaker Michael McClain, who worked as a lobbyist for ComEd after retiring from the House.

The indictment alleges that Mapes lied to the grand jury when asked about Madigan’s relationship with McClain.

Mapes was fired from his position under Madigan in 2018 after public allegations of harassment against colleagues. An inspector general in 2019 said Mapes should never be allowed to work for state government again.

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