A second member of former Illinois House speaker Michael Madigan’s inner circle has been convicted in federal court, this time on perjury charges alleging he lied to a grand jury in an effort to protect his boss from a criminal investigation.
Tim Mapes, Madigan’s longtime chief of staff, was convicted Thursday on a pair of charges — making false declarations and attempted obstruction of justice — following a nearly three week trial at the Dirksen Federal Building in downtown Chicago.
“Perjury and obstruction of justice are serious offenses that strike at the heart of the truth-seeking mission of the grand jury,” Acting U.S. Attorney Morris Pasqual said in a statement. “This conviction should stand as a clear message to witnesses who choose to violate their oath to tell the truth before a grand jury that they will be held accountable.”
Mapes and his defense attorneys quickly exited the courthouse without comment following the verdict.
Jurors deliberated for more than five hours between Wednesday and Thursday before returning their verdicts. Jurors checked boxes on their verdict forms indicating that they found Mapes intentionally lied in each of the seven statements as alleged by prosecutors.
Mapes, 68, testified under an immunity deal before a grand jury in 2021 that was investigating Madigan and his longtime confidant Michael McClain. According to prosecutors, he lied under oath during that proceeding at least seven times in an attempt to minimize the relationship between Madigan and McClain.
During that testimony, Mapes was asked if McClain had given him “any insight into what his interactions” with Madigan were “that you weren’t privy to personally?” He allegedly replied: “No, that wouldn’t — that wouldn’t happen.”
He also claimed McClain hadn’t told him “what he was discussing with (Madigan) or anything that he was doing on behalf of (Madigan)” and said he didn’t recall “any sort of tasks or assignments” McClain would have performed for Madigan from 2017 to 2019.
McClain and three other ex-Commonwealth Edison officials were convicted in April of conspiring to bribe Madigan to further the utility company’s legislative agenda in Springfield. Madigan and McClain are also set to go to trial next spring on racketeering charges.
The prosecution's case was largely built on numerous wiretapped phone conversations presented to jurors, which showed Mapes and McClain were in contact repeatedly throughout 2017, 2018 and 2019 — the timeframe Mapes was questioned about before the grand jury.
“Our system of justice depends on the integrity of this process,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Schwartz said during her closing arguments Wednesday. “What (Mapes) didn’t do, ladies and gentlemen, was tell the truth.”
Mapes’ defense team argued that he didn’t lie under oath, but simply didn’t recall these “insignificant” conversations he’d had with McClain years before his testimony.
During his own closing arguments, Mapes’ defense attorney, Andrew Porter, said his client had no knowledge of any crimes Madigan and McClain may have committed related to the grand jury’s investigation and answered truthfully when asked about this.
“We have had too many glaring reminders that we must eliminate bad actors, self-serving politicians, and corruption from our statehouse,” Illinois House Republican Leader Tony McCombie said in a statement Thursday, “and this is just another verdict to prove it.”
Mapes resigned as Madigan’s chief of staff and as head of the Democratic Party of Illinois in 2018 amid sexual harassment allegations against him.
Sherri Garrett, who made those allegations, issued a statement following the verdict saying she remains hopeful “that more people will now feel safe coming forward, knowing that their stories can lead to real change.”
“Through the course of this trial, we’ve learned about the ways that Mr. Mapes and the rest of the inner circle of that organization worked to discredit those of us who were speaking out about our toxic work environment,” she said. “My experience speaking out about the sexual harassment I endured in 2018 was painful–and more painful was knowing that there were countless others like me who were too afraid of Mr. Mapes to come forward and speak their own truths. I hope that those individuals feel some relief today, as I know I do.”
Mapes faces up to 20 years in prison on the obstruction charge and up to five years on the false declaration charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 10, 2024.