Bribery scheme implicating Madigan revives term limits talk

Illinois News

FILE – In this Aug. 16, 2018, file photo, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, speaks in Springfield, Ill. The speaker of the Illinois House said Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 that he had no knowledge of an alleged unreported rape that was referenced in an email written in 2012 by one of his close friends, a powerful lobbyist, and sent to the office of former Gov. Pat Quinn.(Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A federal deal in which utility giant ComEd will pay a $200 million fine to settle an investigation into a bribery scheme at the state Capitol has implicated House Speaker Michael Madigan, but he’s not been charged with wrongdoing.

Madigan’s been in control for 3 1/2 decades. So it’s natural that term limits should again enter the reform discussion. Advocates say limits on leaders’ terms could prevent the entrenchment that aided Madigan’s alleged involvement.

Other reformers say such corruption needs a broader approach. They say evidence that term limits alone won’t change anything is in Ohio, where House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested last week on bribery charges.

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(This story was originally published on July 26, 2020)

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