Prosecutors detail relationships between Madigan, defendants in ComEd trial | Illinois

(The Center Square) – Prosecutors in the “ComEd 4” federal corruption trial sought to illustrate for jurors Thursday how they contend the four defendants now facing charges were at the center of a ghost-payroll operation.

During the proceedings, attorneys for the government told jurors the four used lobbyists known to have close ties with then-House Speaker Mike Madigan to make it easier to steer him the $1.3 million in jobs, contracts and payments they allege were doled out to him over the life of the years-long scheme, all while making it a point to never name the subcontract workers on any of the contracts.

Charged in the pay-for-play scheme are longtime Madigan associate Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, one-time ComED lobbyist John Hooker and former ComEd contact lobbyist Jay Doherty, who also once served as the head of the City Club civic group.

Each of the four has pleaded not guilty to charges that include conspiracy and bribery. In a separate case, Madigan faces a 23-count indictment that includes racketeering, bribery and official misconduct charges that is expected to go to trail around this time next year. He too has pleaded not guilty.

All morning long a steady stream of ComEd and Exelon employees took to the stand to face questions prosecutors hoped bolstered their allegations about how things worked, which they said included switching subcontractors from one payroll to another if the move was deemed to be necessary to keep the scheme going.

Jurors heard testimony one-time Madigan-staffer turned state lobbyist Shaw Decremer was also a central part of the operation, as was close Madigan associate Victor Reyes, who by then was in charge of the firm the Roosevelt Group.

Prosecutors also spent time giving jurors the inside story of how they contend the bond between Madigan and Pramaggiore seemed to blossom overnight, with the two once hosting an event at the Field Museum together and later traveling to Turkey with other officials for an event held on behalf of a foundation they sponsored.

This article First appeared in the center square

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