Federal investigators reportedly going after political corruption involving huge Chicago electric utility Commonwealth Edison

Democrat-dominated Chicago is widely reputed to be thoroughly corrupt, and it now looks as though federal prosecutors have turned over a lot of rocks and are going after the icky creatures crawling away.  Recall that a politically powerful former alderman, Danny Solis, wore a wire for the feds for two years and during that long period had plenty of time to engage figures in politics, business, and even nonprofits in conversations that may have incriminated them and their associated persons and institutions.


Photo credit: Good Free Photos.

There have already been further raids and investigations involving such things as red light cameras and suburban governments, as well as raids on the offices of multiple Chicago aldermen and women, including powerhouse Alderman Ed Burke.

But the latest news, from public radio station WBEZ takes the investigation in a new direction.

Federal investigators are looking into allegations that Commonwealth Edison hired multiple politically connected employees and consultants in exchange for favorable government actions, including electricity rate increases, WBEZ has learned.

A source involved in the investigation said authorities believe many of the clout hires at the state's largest electric utility got paid but did little or no work, and some of them have ties to Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan of Chicago.

Madigan is all but universally regarded as the kingpin of Illinois politics, more powerful than the several governors whose terms he has served in.  He is the Big Kahuna of political power.

Commonwealth Edison, by the way, was for many years headed by Bill Ayers's father.

Equally intriguing is another raid carried out by the feds:

In another previously undisclosed development, agents investigating those hires are also probing the role played by Jay Doherty, a longtime lobbyist for ComEd and president of the City Club of Chicago, the source said. The City Club is a prominent public affairs speaking forum that's a regular stop for Illinois' top politicians.

Authorities raided the City Club's offices in the Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue for documents about ComEd earlier this year, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. A Wrigley Building doorman on Friday said agents took boxes of documents and computers during the raid.

The City Club has a facially benign role as a nonprofit: hosting public addresses by prominent figures.  But it may also be a locus for what might be an analogue of the Deep State that runs Washington, D.C.  Call it the Deep City of Chicago.

Update. The City Club issued the following statement:

In mid-May of 2019 the City Club of Chicago was served at its office with a subpoena and warrant issued by a federal grand jury. The City Club of Chicago has fully cooperated with the government’s request for information and documents. City Club is not the subject of an investigation; rather, it is one of many entities and individuals who have been served to provide information. The City Club of Chicago has not had any further requests since its last production in July.

The City Club of Chicago, 115 years strong, is the premier public affairs forum in Illinois. City Club’s programs are open to all. For information about upcoming events, please visit www.cityclub-chicago.org. Our next program welcomes Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Monday, October 21, at 11:30 a.m.

Democrat-dominated Chicago is widely reputed to be thoroughly corrupt, and it now looks as though federal prosecutors have turned over a lot of rocks and are going after the icky creatures crawling away.  Recall that a politically powerful former alderman, Danny Solis, wore a wire for the feds for two years and during that long period had plenty of time to engage figures in politics, business, and even nonprofits in conversations that may have incriminated them and their associated persons and institutions.


Photo credit: Good Free Photos.

There have already been further raids and investigations involving such things as red light cameras and suburban governments, as well as raids on the offices of multiple Chicago aldermen and women, including powerhouse Alderman Ed Burke.

But the latest news, from public radio station WBEZ takes the investigation in a new direction.

Federal investigators are looking into allegations that Commonwealth Edison hired multiple politically connected employees and consultants in exchange for favorable government actions, including electricity rate increases, WBEZ has learned.

A source involved in the investigation said authorities believe many of the clout hires at the state's largest electric utility got paid but did little or no work, and some of them have ties to Illinois House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan of Chicago.

Madigan is all but universally regarded as the kingpin of Illinois politics, more powerful than the several governors whose terms he has served in.  He is the Big Kahuna of political power.

Commonwealth Edison, by the way, was for many years headed by Bill Ayers's father.

Equally intriguing is another raid carried out by the feds:

In another previously undisclosed development, agents investigating those hires are also probing the role played by Jay Doherty, a longtime lobbyist for ComEd and president of the City Club of Chicago, the source said. The City Club is a prominent public affairs speaking forum that's a regular stop for Illinois' top politicians.

Authorities raided the City Club's offices in the Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue for documents about ComEd earlier this year, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. A Wrigley Building doorman on Friday said agents took boxes of documents and computers during the raid.

The City Club has a facially benign role as a nonprofit: hosting public addresses by prominent figures.  But it may also be a locus for what might be an analogue of the Deep State that runs Washington, D.C.  Call it the Deep City of Chicago.

Update. The City Club issued the following statement:

In mid-May of 2019 the City Club of Chicago was served at its office with a subpoena and warrant issued by a federal grand jury. The City Club of Chicago has fully cooperated with the government’s request for information and documents. City Club is not the subject of an investigation; rather, it is one of many entities and individuals who have been served to provide information. The City Club of Chicago has not had any further requests since its last production in July.

The City Club of Chicago, 115 years strong, is the premier public affairs forum in Illinois. City Club’s programs are open to all. For information about upcoming events, please visit www.cityclub-chicago.org. Our next program welcomes Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Monday, October 21, at 11:30 a.m.