Power Players | WBEZ
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Power Players

The federal investigation into ComEd and Illinois politicians.

Utility giant Commonwealth Edison and its parent company, Exelon, are at the center of a sprawling federal corruption investigation. WBEZ’s Government & Politics Team has revealed the feds are probing whether the companies hired politically-connected contractors and employees – some of whom did little or no work – in exchange for favorable government actions, including electricity rate hikes. It’s just one of several federal probes that have reverberated through Illinois government in recent months that WBEZ is following.

Following the latest developments here.

WBEZ News

Emails Show ComEd Lobbyist’s Deep Impact In Madigan’s Inner Circle

Speaker’s top aide and utility’s chief advocate in Springfield discussed finding jobs at the power company for former aides.
February 21, 2020

WBEZ News

Feds Indict Top Aide To Cook County Commissioner Tobolski

Tobolski’s chief of staff had a side job as a “sales agent” for a Chicago-based red-light camera company.
February 14, 2020

WBEZ News

Exelon Warns Investors That ComEd Probes Could Be Costly

The parent company of the local utility giant publicly acknowledged for the first time that civil and criminal penalties could be coming.
February 11, 2020

WBEZ News

Chicago Feds Now Investigating ‘Rape In Champaign’ Email: Source

The feds’ interest represents a new potential avenue of their probe into a once-powerful Springfield lobbyist who’s already facing scrutiny.
February 10, 2020

WBEZ News

Ex-State Rep. Arroyo Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Bribery Charge

The Chicago Democrat is charged with offering a bribe to an unnamed state senator in order to win favor for a lobbying client.
February 4, 2020

WBEZ News

Former State Sen. Martin Sandoval Pleads Guilty To Bribery, Tax Evasion

The guilty plea comes just one day after the Chicago Democrat was charged in a federal probe into Illinois’ red-light camera industry.
January 28, 2020

WBEZ News

Feds Charge Ex-State Sen. Sandoval In Red Light Camera Corruption Probe

The Chicago Democrat faces bribery and tax fraud counts for his alleged efforts to protect the red-light camera industry's interests.
January 27, 2020

WBEZ News

New ‘Rape In Champaign’ Disclosure: State Braced For Senator’s ‘Extremely Negative Reaction’

A newly obtained email shows a former member of Gov. Pritzker’s cabinet was more aggressive in protecting a campaign worker than was known.
January 17, 2020

WBEZ News

Pritzker's Agriculture Secretary Resigns In Fallout From 'Rape In Champaign' Email

John Sullivan's resignation was announced Monday. He is the first state official to resign over the "rape in Champaign" email scandal.
January 13, 2020

WBEZ News

Champaign Co. Prosecutor: Multi-Agency Probe Launched Into Rape Email

State’s Attorney Julia Rietz told WBEZ Friday she’s working with state and federal authorities to probe an email mentioning “the rape in ...
January 10, 2020

WBEZ News

Michael Madigan’s Friend Dodges Questions About ‘Rape’ Comment In An Email

Michael McClain says the feds asked him to cooperate in their corruption probe into ComEd. But he didn’t talk about his controversial email.
January 9, 2020

WBEZ News

Gov. Pritzker Defends Actions After Discovering Email About ‘Rape In Champaign’

The 2012 email was written by a top ally to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
January 9, 2020

WBEZ News

House GOP Leader Calls For Hearings Into Madigan Ally’s ‘Shocking’ Rape Email

An email lauding a state worker for keeping "his mouth shut" about a "rape in Champaign" is "extremely serious and troubling," Madigan sa...
January 8, 2020

WBEZ News

An Email From A Powerful Former State Lobbyist Hints At A Rape Cover-Up

In an email obtained by WBEZ, a Michael Madigan ally urged top aides to then-Gov. Pat Quinn to avoid firing the favored worker.
January 7, 2020

WBEZ News

How Two Ex-ComEd Execs Helped Madigan Maintain Political Power

In 2016, two of ComEd’s former executives sued over legislative redistricting. Now they’re caught up in a federal probe into the utility.
December 12, 2019

WBEZ News

City Club President Resigns Amid Federal Corruption Probe

Jay Doherty's resignation Friday comes after WBEZ reported his connection to a ComEd lobbyist with ties to House Speaker Michael Madigan.
December 6, 2019

WBEZ News

Embattled Illinois State Sen. Martin Sandoval Resigns Amid Corruption Probe

Democrat Martin Sandoval announced his resignation from the Senate Wednesday, two months after his office and home were raided by the feds.
November 27, 2019

WBEZ News

A Criminal Probe Into ComEd Is Rattling Illinois Politics. Here’s What You Need To Know.

The federal criminal investigation into ComEd and Exelon’s lobbying and hiring is touching some of Illinois’ most powerful pols.
November 14, 2019

WBEZ News

How A Madigan Operative Padded His Pension – With ComEd Work

Raymond Nice took direction from Jay Doherty, the power company lobbyist whose office was raided by the feds in May.
December 4, 2019

WBEZ News

The Christmas Message For Speaker Michael Madigan’s ‘Magic Lobbyist List’

In an email obtained by WBEZ, a confidant of powerful Democrat Michael Madigan directed an elite group of about 20 favored lobbyists.
November 21, 2019

WBEZ News

Cook County Board’s Tobolski Quits Committees Amid Federal Corruption Probe

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle asked Tobolski to resign for missing meetings. He blames health issues for his absence.
November 14, 2019

WBEZ News

ComEd ‘Shadow Lobbying’ Portfolio Filled With Clouted Contractors, Hires

With ComEd’s contracting under federal investigation, WBEZ finds the utility hired numerous politically connected people and contractors.
November 7, 2019

WBEZ News

ComEd Kept Paying Madigan Confidant After Retirement Announcement

The power company paid $361,000 in 2017 and 2018 to a clout-heavy ex-lobbyist whose home was raided by the feds in May.
November 13, 2019

WBEZ News

Former Madigan Aides, Political Allies Power ComEd’s Springfield Lobbying

Most firms representing the embattled power company in Springfield boast close ties to the state Democratic boss.
November 5, 2019

WBEZ News

Amid Federal Probe, City Club Leader Ends Work For ComEd

Jay Doherty disclosed Monday that he’s no longer working as a lobbyist for the giant power company.
November 4, 2019

WBEZ News

ComEd Cuts Ties With Lobbying Firm Of Prominent Chicago Alderman

Ald. Gilbert Villegas, Jr.’s company had a deal with the power company, which is facing a federal criminal probe.
November 1, 2019

WBEZ News

Facing Bribery Charge, Rep. Luis Arroyo Resigns From Illinois House

Arroyo is facing a federal corruption charge for allegedly trying to bribe a state senator.
November 1, 2019

WBEZ News

Exelon Downplays Corruption Probe's Impact, Even As It Reveals SEC Investigation

Reeling from a federal probe into ComEd’s lobbying practices, Exelon CEO Chris Crane downplayed any possible fallout on Wall Street.
October 31, 2019

WBEZ News

Former Exelon CEO Out At Chicago Fed Amid Corruption Probe

Former Exelon executive Anne Pramaggiore left the federal panel weeks after retiring from a utility under federal investigation.
October 30, 2019

WBEZ News

Before Alleged Bribe, Arroyo Did His Client’s Bidding in Springfield

In May, the allegedly corrupt lawmaker from Chicago defended his lobbying client’s interests in the Illinois Capitol.
October 28, 2019

WBEZ News

Despite Federal Heat, City Club Chairman Says President Will Stay: “Why Not?”

The president of the prominent civic group didn't answer reporters' questions about his involvement in a federal corruption probe.
October 21, 2019

WBEZ News

Source: Feds Sought Info On House Speaker Michael Madigan In City Club Raid

Madigan’s was one name that showed up on a federal subpoena to the prominent Chicago civic organization, WBEZ has learned.
October 20, 2019

WBEZ News

Source: Feds Focus On Clout Hires At ComEd, Leader Of Chicago’s City Club

The feds are investigating whether ComEd hired politically connected employees and consultants in exchange for favorable government actions.
October 18, 2019

WBEZ News

Federal Raid In Lyons Focused on Mayor’s Office — And His ‘Home Security System’

Lyons officials made the search warrant public four days after WBEZ and the Better Government Association sued them.
October 15, 2019

WBEZ News

Exelon Utilities CEO Out Amid Growing Public Corruption Probe

Exelon announced the abrupt retirement of top executive Anne Pramaggiore after disclosing it got two federal subpoenas.
October 15, 2019

WBEZ News

Unredacted Search Warrant Shows Feds’ Sprawling Probe Into Illinois State Senator

Federal agents sought information on ComEd, a speed camera company, video gambling machines, and more.
October 11, 2019

WBEZ News

Feds Subpoena ComEd For ‘Communications’ With Embattled Sen. Sandoval

The power company got the subpoena 10 days after federal agents searched state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s offices.
October 10, 2019

WBEZ News

FBI Investigating Suburb’s Ties to Former Chicago Alderman Zalewski

After retiring from the Chicago City Council, Zalewski was hired as a lobbyist for the village of Schiller Park.
October 8, 2019

WBEZ News

The Justice & The Alderman: The Ethical Conundrum Of A Longtime Power Couple

While on the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice Anne Burke has ruled in cases involving clients of her husband, indicted Chicago Ald. Ed Burke.
October 8, 2019

WBEZ News

FBI Raid At South Suburb Targeted Mayor, County Commissioner Tobolski

Like the Illinois Senate, officials in the village of McCook have heavily blacked out details in a federal search warrant.
October 3, 2019

WBEZ News

WBEZ Sues Illinois Senate For Documents In FBI Probe Of Sen. Sandoval

Senate President John Cullerton has blacked-out details of the federal raids, despite open-records requests from media.
October 2, 2019

WBEZ News

Pritzker Wants Sandoval Out As Transportation Chairman

Gov. JB Pritzker wants Sen. Martin Sandoval to step down from his committee chairmanship after the feds raided his offices last week.
October 2, 2019

WBEZ News

Illinois Senate President Withholds Key Details Of Raid On State Senator

State Sen. John Cullerton released a search warrant on the FBI raid of Sen. Martin Sandoval’s office, but Cullerton concealed most details.
October 1, 2019

WBEZ News

Sources: Feds Also Raided Contractor With Close Ties to Sen. Sandoval

Authorities raided a northwest suburban company on the same day they hit the offices of the Democratic state senator.
September 27, 2019

WBEZ News

FBI Agents Hit Village Halls In Lyons, McCook And Summit

The FBI confirms it raided village halls in southwest suburban McCook and Lyons on Thursday.
September 26, 2019

WBEZ News

Feds Raid Offices Of Powerful Democratic State Sen. Sandoval

An FBI spokesman confirmed agents were executing search warrants at several sites Tuesday. But it’s unclear what they’re investigating.
September 24, 2019

WBEZ News

Sources: Feds Search For Michael Madigan Records At Home Of Retired Alderman

Federal agents executed the search warrant in May at the Southwest Side home of retired Chicago Ald. Michael Zalewski.
July 12, 2019

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