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Madigan attorneys still aiming for October trial despite U.S. Supreme Court ruling

Flanked by attorneys, Illinois’ former House Speaker Michael Madigan walks out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, Wednesday, Jan. 3. U.S. District Judge John Blakey rescheduled Madigan’s racketeering trial for Oct. 8, a delay of six months.
Ashlee Rezin
/
Chicago Sun-Times
Flanked by attorneys, Illinois’ former House Speaker Michael Madigan walks out of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, Wednesday, Jan. 3. U.S. District Judge John Blakey rescheduled Madigan’s racketeering trial for Oct. 8, a delay of six months.

Prosecutors have no plan to file a revised indictment against the disgraced former Illinois House speaker.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case of indicted ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan told a judge Monday they hope to keep his trial on track for October, despite a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court last month that could shake up the case.

They also told U.S. District Judge John Blakey that the feds have no plan to file a revised indictment against Madigan in the wake of the high court decision.

The news came in the form of a status report filed jointly by prosecutors and defense attorneys for Madigan and his co-defendant, longtime confidant Michael McClain. The seven-page document contained the first public comment from prosecutors in Madigan’s case since the Supreme Court ruled in the separate appeal of former Portage, Indiana, Mayor James Snyder.

The Supreme Court ruled that a key statute at play in Madigan’s case criminalizes bribery among state and local officials, but not after-the-fact rewards known as “gratuities.” Blakey sought an update in Monday’s status report after the high court handed down that ruling.

RELATED: Madigan, ComEd bribery cases could be upended by U.S. Supreme Court ruling, defense attorneys say

Madigan’s attorneys have said seven of the 23 counts he faces are tied to the law in question.

The Supreme Court’s decision raised questions about whether Madigan’s trial will proceed as scheduled. Blakey already delayed the case once, in January, after the Supreme Court announced it would consider the Snyder case.

But Blakey said at the time that he was delaying the trial “reluctantly.” And in an order issued after the Supreme Court ruling last month, Blakey stressed “the importance of maintaining the current trial date.”

Under the plan outlined in the report, Madigan’s attorneys would have until July 18 to file motions related to the Snyder ruling. Defense attorneys also asked the judge to consider keeping names of jurors confidential — known only to parties in the case. Prosecutors will apparently agree if the judge makes certain findings, according to the report.

Lawyers in the case are next due in Blakey’s courtroom July 16.

RELATED: Judge delays corruption trial of Michael Madigan while Supreme Court considers case in Indiana

Madigan is accused of leading a criminal enterprise for nearly a decade designed to enhance his political power and generate income for his allies and associates. The Southwest Side Democrat left office in 2021 and was indicted in March 2022.

The Supreme Court’s Snyder ruling is also expected to cause fallout in the case of four former Madigan allies convicted last year of a lengthy conspiracy to bribe Madigan to benefit ComEd. Sentencing hearings in that case have long been on hold because of the high court’s deliberations.

Convicted in that case were McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and onetime City Club President Jay Doherty.

Defense attorneys in that case boldly predicted last month that it would have to be re-tried because of the Supreme Court’s ruling. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Manish Shah after the death last month of the previous presiding judge, Harry Leinenweber.

Attorneys in that case are set to appear before Shah on Tuesday.

Jon Seidel covers federal courts for the Chicago Sun-Times.
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