CHICAGO — The City Club of Chicago held its first event Monday since reports revealed the organization was raided by the FBI as part of an ongoing investigation into ComEd’s lobbying practices.
According to WBEZ, the City Club has been served with a federal grand jury subpoena as authorities look for information on Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan in relation to alleged political hiring and contracting at ComEd.
"An FBI investigation has nothing to do with whether or not our office will be vigilant on behalf of rate payers,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said during an event at the Union League Club Monday.
City Club of Chicago president and reported ComEd lobbyist Jay Doherty sat in the front row as he listened to Raoul address the ongoing FBI investigations into whether the utility giant tried to buy political influence.
“We continue to be vigilant at the IIC and that’s not driven by an investigation by the FBI or anybody else," Raoul said.
Afterward, Doherty listened to reporters’ questions on the same topic but didn't answer them. With a vacant stare and a pained expression, he ignored reporters during an awkward three-minute wait for an elevator.
According to reporting by WBEZ and the Chicago Tribune, lobbyists were allegedly hired by ComEd as “consultants” on a sort of ghost payroll to get around lobbying disclosure laws. They allegedly cozied up to lawmakers and pushed them to take legislative actions favorable to the company.
The FBI reportedly raided Doherty’s City Club office at the Wrigley building in mid-May, looking for information on Madigan. Reports show the subpoena and search warrant also sought information Anne Pramaggiore, who stepped down last week as CEO of Exelon Utilities, and is reportedly a focus of the FBI's investigation.
At an event promoting infrastructure spending, Governor JB Pritzker spoke out against corruption in Illinois politics.
“There is no, no acceptance in any way whatsoever. In fact, there's a full-throated rejection by my administration, by IDOT, of any of the deception and corruption that has been uncovered and yet to be uncovered," Pritzker said. "We are being extremely careful to make sure that every dollar that is spent in this capital plan is spent in the right way with taxpayers in mind.”
In a statement, the City Club said it is not the subject of an investigation, saying instead it’s providing information to authorities.
Doherty would not say if he is being represented by an attorney, nor would he say if he is cooperating with the FBI.