Southern Illinois Republicans say Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan needs to step down, after news he was implicated in a bribery scheme involving utility giant ComEd.
Congressman Mike Bost says he's disappointed, but not surprised by the news.
"I am tired, and I know the residents of this great state are tired, of the embarrassment of having so many of our elected officials either crossing the line or giving the appearance that they're crossing the line," the Murphysboro Republican said. "I know a lot of people are asking for a resignation. We'll see how he reacts, but I don't see him doing that."
Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) agrees.
"Mike Madigan has been the driving force behind the spread of Illinois' decades-long pandemic of public corruption. Speaker Madigan is the most powerful politician in Illinois, and the consolidation of his power has become absolute. Unfortunately, we know that in Illinois, absolute power can in fact absolutely corrupt our institutions and elected officials," she said.
Bryant and others have called for ethics reform for a number of years. Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) says this case highlights the need for change.
"We must end self-dealing and the all-too-stubborn problem of corruption under the 40-plus year reign of Mike Madigan and the Chicago Democrat Machine. If the allegations in the deferred prosecution agreement are indeed true, Speaker Madigan has broken the public’s trust, broken the law, and must resign immediately.”
And Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis), who previously served as Massac County's State's Attorney, pointed to this case as an illustration of the problems plaguing Illinois' political system.
"I am troubled that Speaker Madigan has been able to consolidate the kind of power that he has, controlling both the Democratic Party of Illinois and the Illinois House of Representatives. No one person should be able to exert the amount of authority Speaker Madigan has exerted over our state for as long as he has. The allegations leveled in today’s criminal settlement with ComEd and Exelon are serious enough to warrant Speaker Madigan's immediate resignation."
Speaker Madigan's office acknowledged subpoenas had been served, and a spokeswoman said Madigan intends to cooperate with the investigation. He has not been charged with a crime, and the spokeswoman said he's done nothing improper or illegal.