Madigan, McClain discussed secret payoffs

MCCLAIN MADIGAN

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was recorded on a wiretapped phone call in 2018 discussing with lobbyist confidant Michael McClain a plan to arrange secret payments to a close political ally who had been implicated in a sexual harassment scandal, newly released court documents show.

Madigan has always denied any involvement in the scheme in which McClain allegedly arranged with a group of other lobbyists allied with the speaker to make monthly payments to Kevin Quinn, brother of Ald. Marty Quinn and a key member of Madigan’s political organization who had been ousted over his inappropriate treatment of a female co-worker, Alaina Hampton.

But in the call from Madigan to McClain on Aug. 29, 2018, McClain is quoted as telling Madigan he had put “four or five people together” who were willing to make monthly payments to Quinn for a six-month period to tide him over until he could find a job.

The call was referred to in an affidavit sworn out by an FBI agent May 13, 2019, as the feds sought permission from a judge to search McClain’s home in Quincy. A redacted version of the document was unsealed Friday in federal court in Springfield.

The 136-page affidavit amounts to one of the most detailed court documents to surface publicly about the feds’ investigation of Madigan and McClain. It provides new insights into the investigation, explaining that “the FBI’s Chicago Field Office has been conducting a wide-ranging public corruption investigation involving multiple subjects. Two of the present subjects of the investigation are Michael J. Madigan . . . and Michael F. McClain.”

Madigan defense attorney Gil Soffer declined to comment as did the lawyer for McClain, Patrick Cotter. Quinn did not return messages seeking comment.

Madigan and McClain were charged earlier this year in a 106–page racketeering indictment. In part, it alleged that Madigan and McClain sought jobs, contracts and money for Madigan’s associates from ComEd between 2011 and 2019, and that Madigan took official action to help ComEd pass favorable legislation.

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