FBI Looking at Mike Madigan, Too

The big news in Chicago political circles has been the arrest of veteran Alderman Ed Burke and the revelation that fellow long-time Alderman Danny Solis recorded conversations with him.

Now, an affidavit has surfaced indicating that Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan also has caught the attention of the FBI.

Here is the Illinois Policy Intitute‘s story on the revelation. A direct link to the story is here.


Madigan has long been criticized for his control of a lucrative law firm specializing in Cook County property tax appeals.

The federal investigation that led to Chicago Ald. Ed Burke’s indictment extended to the most powerful political player in the state, a new report reveals.

Someone has used the extremely cold weather to prepare this satirical message about Mike Madigan.

The FBI secretly recorded a business meeting between Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and a hotel developer who had been directed to Madigan’s law firm by Ald. Danny Solis, according to an affidavit obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Solis secretly recorded dozens of conversations with Burke, and is not running for re-election.

An FBI agent explained the reasoning behind the meeting in the affidavit:

“I understand Solis to mean that by hiring Madigan’s private firm, [the developer] would ensure that Solis and Madigan would take official action benefiting [the developer] in their capacity as public officials.”

In May 2014 the developer sought a zoning change to build a hotel in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, within Solis’ ward.

Solis said he would support the project on two conditions, according to the affidavit:

  • First, the developer would not build a second hotel on a nearby piece of land.
  • And second, the developer would acquire letters of support from key community groups.

After the developer presented letters of support to Solis, the alderman asked the developer and an associate to attend a meeting with Madigan’s LaSalle street law firm, according to the affidavit.

Madigan & Getzendanner is the biggest player in the profitable game of commercial property tax appeals in Cook County.

From 2011 to 2016, the firm appealed property taxes for more than 4,200 parcels totaling more than $8.6 billion in assessed value.

No other firm handled more value in commercial and industrial properties over that time.

In the meeting, Madigan’s partner laid out the firm’s fee: 12.5 percent of all tax savings or a fixed amount of $3,000 to $3,500 annually.

“We’re not interested in a quick killing here,” Madigan said.

“We’re interested in a long-term relationship.”

An associate of the developer called Solis Aug. 21, 2014, to confirm the developer would hire Madigan’s law firm.

Solis wrote a letter of support for the hotel five days later.

Despite these conversations, the hotel did not ultimately sign any agreement with Madigan’s firm by the time the FBI agent filed the affidavit in 2016.

And while the zoning change was approved the hotel was never built.

The speaker is not facing criminal charges and denies any wrongdoing.

Later today, the Illinois House is scheduled to vote on the House rules, which give Madigan more procedural power than any other House speaker in the nation.


FBI Looking at Mike Madigan, Too — 7 Comments

  1. What about Pritzger?

    Another Illinois elected governor headed to jail?

    I was wondering why Lisa retired when she still had a very active campaign finance account which even this month still had $2,112,155.97.

  2. Should the federal bureau also look into the low assessment that the current gov got on one of his properties by removing toilets in the building?

  3. Four of last seven Illinois governors ended up in jail. Three were Democrats, one a Republican. The most recent jailed governor, Blago, was trying to cut a deal with Obama regarding who to appoint to fill the vacant U.S. Senator Obama seat.

    Lots of Illinois Democrat politicians have gone to jail such as Blago, Dan Walker, Otto Kerner, Dan Rostenkowski, Mel Reynolds, Jackson Jr, etc. Who next?

  4. What are the odds this will go anywhere?

    What do the feds have on Solis that he is wired up?

    He’s a chicago democrat it certainly isn’t a conscience.

  5. Dan Walker ended up in jail not because of official misconduct, but because of activities in the savings and loan scandal.

    In his excellent autobiography, he claims he received the most severe punishment, even more than those involved in the Keating Five scandal. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keating_Five

  6. Who is worse and crookeder ……… the FBI or Madrigal.

    Now that’s a real toss up!

  7. I’m no fan of the FBI by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t think that the local field offices are nearly as bad as the FBI administration in DC.

    The local FBI guys are for the most part regular career people.

    The DC FBI guys are mostly political hacks.

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