State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) confirmed that the Special Investigating Committee tasked with investigating evidence of bribery and corruption involving Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan will begin in Springfield this week.
The Illinois House formed the Special Investigating Committee under existing legislative rules to look into the allegations against Speaker Madigan in relation to a deferred prosecution agreement entered into by Illinois utility giant, Commonwealth Edison, and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in July.
The committee is evenly divided with three House Democrats (all three of whom are from Madigan’s leadership team) and three House Republicans. The chair is Rep. Chris Welch (D-Westchester). Mazzochi made it clear that for the committee to effectively do its job, it must be empowered to gather and consider all of the facts. “It is critical that we have a fair framework to conduct this investigation and that we can get real access to any needed documents, information, and testimony so we can shed sunlight on this issue for the people of Illinois.”
Mazzochi also clarified that this committee investigation differs from both the federal criminal investigations underway, and the civil suit accusing Madigan, ComEd and others of conspiracy, fraud, and racketeering. “This fundamentally is a House disciplinary issue, where the integrity of the Illinois House is at stake.”
The committee’s first meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Thursday in Springfield. Mazzochi reiterated that “both sides of the aisle have raised questions and concerns about the Speaker’s activities, and it is time to establish a full, complete, and transparent investigative record for both the Illinois House and the public.”