SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The former Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan is pleading not guilty to the newest charge added to his docket.
Lawyers for Michael Madigan entered a not guilty plea at an arraignment hearing Tuesday in Chicago. This arraignment focused on the newest charge Madigan is facing – a charge of conspiracy alleging that Madigan took money from AT&T Illinois and in exchange pushed through legislation benefitting the company. Federal prosecutors added the charge of conspiracy connecting Madigan with AT&T last month, after the company admitted to paying Madigan, and agreed to pay a $23 million fine.
Madigan did not appear in court for the arraignment. A federal judge granted a request from Madigan’s lawyers to waive his right to be present at the proceedings. Madigan has largely dodged the public eye since being indicted last spring. The original 22 charges claim Madigan solicited bribes of money and jobs for allies from northern Illinois electric company Commonwealth Edison in exchange for favorable legislation.
During his first arraignment, the proceedings were handled remotely, and during the phone call, Madigan stayed silent.
Madigan’s long time confidant Michael McClain is also being charged with conspiracy following the revelations around AT&T. McClain also pleaded not guilty.
The next court date for Madigan is Nov. 17.