Mapes seeks to throw out parts of indictment in Madigan-related case | Illinois

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(The Center Square) – Former Illinois President Michael Madigan’s longtime chief of staff has asked a judge to dismiss parts of an indictment accusing him of lying to a grand jury investigating a decade of alleged corruption schemes by his former boss.

Mapes’ lawyer, Andrew Porter, asked US Judge John Lee to throw out parts of the indictment due to what he claimed were poorly worded and ambiguous questions put to Mapes during his court appearance. the grand jury on March 31, 2021.

Mapes, 66, of Springfield, was indicted in May 2021 for lying to a grand jury in a federal corruption investigation related to Madigan and Michael McClain, a former lawmaker, ComEd lobbyist and Madigan confidant. Mapes, who was granted immunity to testify before the grand jury, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Porter wrote in the motion that of the approximately 650 questions posed to Mapes before a grand jury, prosecutors pointed to seven as the basis of the indictment. Porter said the questions were “‘fundamentally ambiguous’ and should be removed from the indictment.” The motion was filed under seal last week because it contained grand jury testimony, which is supposed to remain secret. The judge unsealed the motion, which was made public on Wednesday.

The indictment accuses Mapes of lying when asked about Madigan’s interactions with McClain.

“While the government can cite certain tapes in which Mr. McClain and Mr. Mapes spoke after Mr. Mapes retired in 2018, none of these tapes demonstrates that Mr. Mapes was lying on March 31, 2021 when he said that he could not recall in response to vague questions about ‘duties’, ‘assignments’ and ‘work’ from two to four years earlier,” Porter wrote in the motion. “Indeed, the government never broadcast those conversations for Mr. Mapes before the grand jury – and the government did not even refer to those conversations in an effort to jog his memory or probe his understanding of what Mr. McClain was talking about at the during these conversations. “

Additionally, Porter filed a motion to strike out references to Mapes’ immunity agreement, arguing that it was irrelevant and that prosecutors included it to make Mapes look bad.

“One of the possible motives for adding such language to the indictment is to send a signal to other witnesses the government was trying to interview in 2021 regarding its investigation of Mr. Madigan. Indeed, this act of The indictment was delivered with remarkable speed – it was less than 60 days between Mr. Mapes’ testimony and the return of an indictment containing specific language about the immune nature of his testimony,” Porter wrote. in a separate motion “While the government may have a motive to acquaint other potential witnesses with the weapons at its disposal, the fact of the immunization is irrelevant to the charges against Mr. Mapes.”

Prosecutors have until May 3 to respond to defense requests. The next status hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on June 1.

Mapes served as Madigan’s chief of staff, House Clerk and executive director of the Illinois Democratic Party. Mapes was fired from those positions under Madigan in 2018 after public allegations of sexual harassment. an inspector general report in 2019, said Mapes should no longer be allowed to work for the state government.

In March, federal prosecutors charged Madigan, 79, with 22 counts of corruption, including bribery, fraud and racketeering. Madigan was one of Illinois’ most powerful politicians. Until 2021, he controlled legislation passed to the Illinois House as speaker and the finances of the Illinois Democratic Party as party chairman.

If convicted on the most serious felony charges, Madigan could face up to 20 years in prison.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $2.8 million in alleged illegal profits from Madigan.

The charges stem from Madigan and McClain’s dealings with the state’s largest utility, ComEd, as well as other companies that had sought to influence legislation in Springfield. ComEd is the only company identified by name in the indictment.

In 2020, federal prosecutors and Exelon subsidiary ComEd reached a deferred prosecution agreement. As part of the deal, the utility admitted paying $1.3 million in jobs and contracts to Madigan associates over nine years to influence the former House speaker. ComEd agreed to pay a $200 million fine. A former ComEd official, Fidel Marquez, pleaded guilty to corruption charges in September 2020.

Prosecutors also allege that former Chicago Ald. Danny Solis has agreed to help run the affairs of Madigan’s personal law firm, Madigan & Getzendanner, which specializes in disputing property tax bills for its clients. In exchange, prosecutors say Madigan agreed to ask Governor JB Pritzker to appoint Solis to a state board position that would pay $93,926 a year after Solis retired from the Chicago City Council. Solis is referred to as Alderman A throughout the indictment

Madigan and McClain have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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