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.

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David Greising

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...