Mapes Verdict a Reminder We Must Bolster Illinois Ethics Laws Today

The former chief of staff to the office of the Speaker was found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice.  The charges were related to false answers that Tim Mapes voiced to a federal grand jury when he was being questioned under oath.  The false answers were closely related to a parallel criminal inquiry mounted by federal investigators against Mapes’ former boss, Chicago’s Michael J. Madigan.

Extensive testimony, over a multi-day trial held at the federal courthouse in Chicago, generated a verdict that former Chief of Staff Mapes knew he was giving false answers and did so knowingly in a manner that created criminal liability for himself.  Legal commentators speculated that Mapes’s false answers were related to the alleged desire of the former aide to cover up the alleged pattern of Madigan criminal conduct that was being investigated by the grand jury.

In a related federal case, Mapes’ former boss, erstwhile Illinois House Speaker Madigan, has become the target of an initial and, then, a superseding federal criminal indictment alleging active leadership in a years-long, multi-element pattern of influence peddling and lawmaking corruption.  The Madigan proceedings are in extended pretrial mode.  A key element of the Madigan pretrial process is the determination of who will testify against the former head of the Illinois Democratic Party, and what testimony they will provide.

Former chief of staff Tim Mapes could face a maximum prison term of 25 years for the crimes of which he was convicted this week.

House Republicans held a press conference shortly after the verdict was delivered to again call for substantive ethics reform in state government.