Former Speaker Mike Madigan’s Chief of Staff was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for making false declarations before a grand jury and obstruction of justice. The sentencing for Tim Mapes came after defense attorneys pushed for a lenient sentence of community service, which was denied in federal court today by Judge John Kness in the Northern District. Instead, Mapes was held accountable for his wrongful attempt to guard the corrupt ways of Mike Madigan. The news is the latest development in an ongoing parade of Madigan allies and associates to the federal courthouse, which illustrates the clear need for tighter ethics laws, something that House Republicans have pushed for years. Under House Minority Leader Tony McCombie’s leadership, Republicans have filed a host of ethics bills, with the latest filed just last week to mark the new legislative year.
Last week at a news conference in Springfield, Leader McCombie noted ethics reform as a priority for House Republicans this year. “We sound like a broken record with our continuous calls for ethics reform, but we will not stop until it is passed: we cannot continue to rely on federal prosecution to hold elected officials to a higher standard,” said McCombie.
McCombie is sponsoring HB 4119, which will prevent defendants from utilizing campaign contributions to fund their legal defense. To date, Madigan himself has paid millions from his campaign fund to the legal firm defending him.
Deputy Minority Leader Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) has been a strong advocate for the necessary reforms needed by the legislature, to set a higher standard for elected officials and create greater trust in government.
“I applaud Judge Kness for rejecting the request to delay Tim Mapes’ sentencing,” said Deputy Leader Ryan Spain. “We all learn as children that lying is wrong. Tim Mapes shouldn’t need to be reminded of that basic child’s lesson to know that lying under oath to a grand jury is a bad idea. It’s even worse when done to cover up for unethical leaders who are supposed to serve the best interests of Illinois citizens. Let’s continue to hold corrupt politicians accountable going forward in Illinois.”
State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) serves as both House Republican Floor Leader and the House Republican Spokesperson on the House Judiciary and Criminal Law Committee. Windhorst, who previously served as Massac County State’s Attorney for 14 years, says the honest cooperation of witnesses is vital to investigations, and that Mapes is reaping what he sewed by lying to the Federal government.
“No one is above the law. Period. That applies even to those who have cut deals for immunity with the Federal government’s investigation into the corrupt tenure of Michael J. Madigan,” Windhorst said. “In the case of Tim Mapes lying to the Department of Justice in the Madigan investigation, we see just how deep the allegiance between the two men was. Mr. Mapes put the interest of his former boss ahead of his own interest and certainly ahead of the interest of justice, and for that, he will face the consequences.”
Representative Wayne Rosenthal says this verdict is another example for the need of ethics reform in Illinois.
“Anyone who lies to a federal court to protect other’s interests should be held accountable and punished accordingly, said Rep. Rosenthal. ” The fact that people think they can get away with corruption is just one reason on why we must pass ethics reform in Illinois to deter crimes from happening.”
In addition to Mapes, in 2023 alone federal prosecutors in Chicago have secured the following convictions:
- Four former Commonwealth Edison employees were convicted on charges of conspiring to bribe former House Speaker Mike Madigan to guide and pass ComEd’s legislative agenda.
- Chicago businessman James T. Weiss was convicted and sentenced to five-plus years in prison for bribing two Democratic state lawmakers, wire and mail fraud, and lying to the FBI.
- And just days before Christmas, former Chicago Democratic Alderman Edward Burke, a member of the City Council for 54 years, was convicted of racketeering, bribery, and attempted extortion after an historic corruption trial that was over five years in the making.
The ethics reform proposals filed by House Republicans include:
- House Bill 4119 – Prohibits elected officials from using political campaign donations to pay for criminal defense.
- House Bill 1277 – Benefit or annuity payments to a member or participant in a retirement system or pension fund shall be suspended if the member or participant is charged with a felony.
- House Bill 4286 – Provides for a three-year revolving door ban on lobbying.
- House Bill 4288 – Requires the Executive and Legislative Ethics Commissions to make reports available within 60 days of receipt.
- House Bill 4289 – Amends the Lobbyist Registration Act to expand the definition of “officials” to include more positions at the local level and expands the definition of “lobbying.”