In light of the guilty verdict handed to Tim Mapes, former right-hand man of criminally charged ex-House Speaker Mike Madigan, House Republican Leader Tony McCombie is pressing for greater ethics laws in the Illinois House.
“As the tangled web of corruption has unraveled in federal court, reform efforts in the statehouse are being stalled by Democratic Leadership–who are obviously content with the status quo,” said Leader McCombie. “The public deserves better and we must do more to enforce good government, and that needs to start with a call for legislative action.”
To do that, McCombie has filed legislation to prohibit elected officials from using political campaign donations to pay for criminal defense. To date, it has been reported that former Speaker Mike Madigan has used nearly $8.5 million in funds from his campaign coffer, ‘Friends of Michael Madigan,’ to pay for legal fees. Beyond that striking sum, Madigan continues to keep asking for campaign contributions, even though he is facing 23 felony counts of bribery, wire fraud, attempted extortion and racketeering, alleging he abused his position of power to enrich himself and his allies.
McCombie’s legislation has been an ongoing effort from House Republicans to advocate for change, root out corruption, and instill greater public trust in government. House Republicans have repeatedly called for ethics reform, with the latest push coming shortly after the ComEd Four verdict was handed down in federal court where one juror remarked, “bad behavior doesn’t strike once.”
Despite the countless stream of federal charges handed down to Mike Madigan’s cronies, House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch, has sat complacent, failing to move forward any substantive bills, including the countless measures Illinois House Republicans have brought forward to end the cloud of corruption over Springfield.
“It is time to address the bad behavior of elected officials and end corruption in Illinois government,” continued McCombie. “Speaker, it is time to call the bills for a vote.”
McCombie’s current bill, HB4119, was recently filed in the House and will await further consideration. Madigan’s trial is slated to begin in April 2024.