Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and his longtime associate Michael McClain entered not guilty pleas Tuesday morning on new charges stemming from their alleged participation in a corruption scheme involving AT&T Illinois.
Neither Madigan nor McClain was present during the brief hearing held in federal court Tuesday via telephone. Attorneys for the men entered not guilty pleas in response to new conspiracy charges filed last month in a superseding indictment.
“We have received a copy of the indictment … and Mr. Madigan enters a plea of not guilty on each and every count,” Madigan’s attorney Dan Collins said during the hearing.
Madigan was initially indicted in March on 22 counts alleging that he participated in — and benefited from — a variety of corruption schemes. He resigned his post in 2021 amid the federal investigation that led to the indictment.
According to prosecutors, AT&T Illinois admitted that in 2017 it arranged for a Madigan ally to receive $22,500 in payments from the company, which would be paid out through an intermediary — a lobbying firm that performed services for AT&T Illinois.
“Although AT&T Illinois employees formulated a pretextual assignment for Madigan’s ally to disguise why the ally was being paid, the ally performed no actual work for AT&T Illinois and the company made no effort to ensure any work was performed,” prosecutors said in a statement.
AT&T Illinois has since agreed to pay a $23 million fine as part of a deferred prosecution agreement.
Former AT&T Illinois president Paul La Schiazza, who was similarly charged in the alleged corruption scheme, pleaded not guilty last month.
Madigan and McClain have a status hearing scheduled for Nov. 17.