More than 18 months have passed since Michael Madigan first showed up as “Public Official A” in the federal corruption case involving Commonwealth Edison. On Wednesday, federal authorities finally indicted the former Illinois House speaker on multiple charges of public corruption. They placed him at the head of an alleged “criminal enterprise.”

Even though many of the alleged bad acts were known, due to the criminal complaint against ComEd, its president, Anne Pramaggiore, and three others, the Madigan indictment provided new and telling details, to be sure.

Contrary to the myth that Madigan was too smart to leave tracks, for example, the former House speaker actually did use the phone, and federal wiretaps apparently recorded him uttering words that advanced the alleged corruption scheme. There are no Madigan emails cited, but in several incidents cited in the indictment, he essentially dictates an email that advances an allegedly illegal scheme.

Eighteen months is a long time. Certainly that was long enough for Gov. J.B. Pritzker and legislative leaders to conduct a major ethics overhaul.

Read more at the

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.