CHICAGO — Jury selection began Tuesday in the ComEd bribery case.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber — who, just months ago presided over the high-profile R. Kelly child pornography trial — questioned more than 90 potential jurors throughout the day, dismissing more than two dozen of them. The selection process is set to resume Wednesday morning at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, when lawyers will work to select 12 jurors and six alternates from the remaining pool of 65.

The four defendants, charged in November 2020, are former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore; former ComEd Vice President and lobbyist John Hooker; Jay Doherty, a former ComEd contractor and President of the City Club of Chicago; and Michael McClain, a former ComEd lobbyist and consultant who, for decades, has been a close confidant of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Federal prosecutors allege the four defendants “conspired with outside consultants to corruptly influence and reward” Madigan, who, as House Speaker, exerted heavy influence on legislation at the state capitol.

It is alleged that, in exchange for legislation favorable to the utility, the four defendants arranged for jobs and contracts for Madigan’s allies, “even in instances where those people performed little or no work that ComEd purportedly hired them to perform.”

The trial is expected to last two months.

Before jury selection began, Leinenweber reversed one of his earlier rulings, allowing for media outlets to receive copies of the audio tapes that will be used as evidence during the trial.

Leinenweber said it was “pretty well one-sided in favor of the right to access the audio tapes.”

“In order to not do so, the court must have some very articulable factors which would indicate a clear danger of violation of Sixth Amendment rights, and I do not see those present at this time,” Leinenweber added. “The motion of the intervenors for access to the audio tapes is granted.”

Less than a year before the four defendants were charged, federal prosecutors in Chicago announced that ComEd had entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, in which the utility admitted that it engaged in years-long bribery scheme in an effort to ensure the passage of favorable legislation. As part of the agreement, ComEd agreed to pay a $200 million fine.

Madigan, who in 2021 chose to not seek reelection after 50 years in the state general assembly, faces racketeering and bribery charges in a separate, yet closely related, case that is set to go to trial in April 2024.