Chicago, IL. (ECWd) -
The Federal Prosecutor for the Northern District of Illinois has published a charge sheet and deferred prosecution agreement with COMED in a bribery scheme.
These documents paint the story of bribery, favors, payments, ghost payrolls, board appointments, and other things in order to obtain favorable legislation. The Speaker of the House is implicated as being involved.
We urge each of our readers to read the entirety of both of the below documents from the Northern District of Illinois.
From the charge sheet:
- Public Official A was the Speaker of the House of Representatives and an elected member of that body. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, Public Official A was able to exercise control over
what measures were called for a vote in the House of Representatives. Public Official A also exercised substantial influence and control over fellow lawmakers concerning legislation, including legislation affecting ComEd.
- Beginning no later than in or around 2011, and continuing through in or around 2019, in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and elsewhere, COMMONWEALTH EDISON COMPANY, defendant herein, corruptly gave, offered, and agreed to give things of value, namely, jobs, vendor subcontracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and subcontracts, for the benefit of Public Official A and Public Official A’s associates, with intent to influence and reward Public Official A, as an agent of the State of Illinois, a State government that during each of the twelve-month calendar years from 2011 to 2019, received federal benefits in excess of $10,000, in connection with any business, transaction, and series of transactions of $5,000 or more of the State of Illinois, namely, legislation affecting ComEd and its business;
From the deferred prosecution agreement with COMED:
- On page 6: More than one bribe, value of benefit was greater than $150,000, involved an elected official
- Page 7: Fine range of between $240,000,000 and $480,000,000
- COMED to pay $100,000,000 within 30 days and an additional $100,000,000 within 90 days - this totals $200 million dollars.
From the Statement of Facts in the DPA (page 20):
- Hiring of Public Official A’s Associates as Vendor “Subcontractors” Who Performed Little or No Work for ComEd
- Beginning no later than in or around 2011, Public Official A and Individual A sought to obtain from ComEd jobs, vendor subcontracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and subcontracts for various associates of Public Official A, such as precinct captains who operated within Public Official A’s legislative district. In or around 2011, Individual A and Lobbyist 1 developed a plan to direct money to two of Public Official A’s associates (“Associate 1” and “Associate 2”) by having ComEd pay them indirectly as subcontractors to Consultant 1. Payments to Associate 1 and Associate 2, as well as later payments to other subcontracted associates of Public Official A, continued until in or around 2019, even though those associates did little or no work during that period.
- Consultant 1 agreed in 2011 that Public Official A’s associates would be identified as subcontractors under Consultant 1’s contract and that ComEd’s payments to Consultant 1 would be increased to cover payments to those subcontractors. Between in or around 2011 and 2019, Consultant 1 executed written contracts and submitted invoices to ComEd that made it falsely appear that the payments made to Company 1 were all in return for Consultant 1’s advice on “legislative issues” and “legislative risk management activities,” and other similar matters, when in fact a portion of the compensation paid to Company 1 was intended for ultimate payment to Public Official A’s associates, who in fact did little or no work for ComEd. Consultant 1 and Company 1 did little, if anything, to direct or supervise the activities of Public Official A’s associates, even though they were subcontracted under and received payments through Company 1. Moreover,
because they were paid indirectly through Company 1, the payments to Public Official A’s associates over the course of approximately eight years were not reflected in the vendor payment system used by ComEd, and as a result, despite that Public Official A’s associates were subcontracted under and receiving payments through Company 1, no such payments were identifiable in ComEd’s vendor payment system.
- Individual A said, “We had to hire these guys because [Public Official A] came to us. It’s
just that simple.” Lobbyist 1 agreed, and added, “It’s, it’s clean for all of us.”
- Individual A explained that for decades, Public Official A had named individuals to be ComEd employees, such as meter readers, as part of an “old-fashioned patronage system.” In response, a ComEd employee acknowledged that such hires could be a “chip” used by ComEd. ComEd renewed Company 1’s contract.
- Between in and around 2011 and 2019, indirect payments made to Public Official A’s associates—who performed little or no work for ComEd—totaled approximately $1,324,500.
- Appointment of Board Member 1 as Member of the Board of Directors at the Request of Public Official A. Board Member 1 to receive a part-time job that paid an equivalent amount of money to a board member position, namely, $78,000 a year.
- Retention of Law Firm A. . . . “I am sure you know how valuable [Lawyer A] is to our Friend [Public Official A],” and then went on to write, “I know the drill and so do you. If you do not get involve [sic] and resolve this issue of 850 hours for his law firm per year then he will go to our Friend [Public Official A]. Our Friend [Public Official A] will call me and then I will call you. Is this a drill we must go through?” CEO-1 replied in writing, “Sorry. No one informed me. I am on this.”
- Internship Program
- ComEd acknowledges that the reasonably foreseeable anticipated benefits to ComEd of such legislation exceeded $150,000,000.