Federal prosecutors on Wednesday unveiled a 22-count indictment against the once-all powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, charging him with racketeering, bribery, conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion.
How did Madigan, the longest-serving statehouse speaker in U.S. history who also chaired the Democratic Party of Illinois as well as the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, end up here?
The sprawling investigation began at least eight years ago, when federal investigators in 2014 first targeted then-25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis in a corruption probe that would eventually ensnare both 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke and ultimately Madigan.
Here's a timeline of the events that followed and the individuals who were charged as the feds closed in:
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Nov. 29, 2018: FBI agents raid the offices of Burke’s Southwest Side ward and the Finance Committee he chaired.
Dec. 13, 2018: Burke’s City Hall office was raided.
Jan. 13, 2019: Burke was charged with attempted extortion for "corruptly soliciting business" for his law firm.
May 2019: The feds raid the homes of former 23rd Ward Ald. Mike Zalewski and longtime Madigan confidante Mike McClain, who served with Madigan in the House and would later loom large in the investigation.
May 30, 2019: A grand jury indicted Burke on racketeering and bribery for extorting businesses for work for his law firm. Burke's 14th Ward employee Peter Andrews and real estate developer Charles Cui were also charged.
June 26, 2019: The feds raided the home of Kevin Quinn, 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn's brother and Madigan ally who was publicly ousted from the political organization the year before over allegations of sexual harassment.
Sept. 24, 2019: Investigators raided the office of state Sen. Martin Sandoval, with the search warrants asking for items related to ComEd, parent company Exelon and more.
Jan. 28, 2020: Sandoval - having resigned from office earlier in the month - pleaded guilty to bribery and tax offenses, having agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the wide-ranging investigation.
March 11, 2020: Chinatown developer See Wong, who was later revealed to have secretly recorded Solis and Madigan, was charged with wire fraud.
July 17, 2020: In a massive development, ComEd agreed to $200 million in fines as part of a deferred prosecution agreement in which the utility giant admitted to a bribery scheme involving associates of Madigan - referred to in that filing only as "Public Official A."
Nov. 18, 2020: McClain, two ComEd executives - Anne Pramaggiore and John Hooker, as well as lobbyist Jay Doherty were all charged with bribery and falsifying records.
Dec. 5, 2020: In the midst of his cooperation deal, Sandoval died of complications related to COVID-19.
Jan. 13, 2021: As the feds closed in, Madigan's iron grip on the House he controlled for so long began to crumble and he was ousted as speaker by members of his own caucus.
Feb. 18, 2021: Madigan announced his resignation from the House.
Feb. 22, 2021: Madigan resigned as chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois.
Feb. 24, 2021: Bolstering prosecutors' case, Madigan lieutenant and former state Rep. Eddie Acevedo and his two sons were all indicted on federal tax charges.
March 31, 2021: Former state Sen. Annazette Collins, who previously served in the House with Madigan, was also charged.
May 26, 2021: Madigan's former chief of staff Tim Mapes, who also served as executive director of the state Democratic Party under Madigan but was ousted from both roles in 2018 over allegations of sexual harassment and bullying, was indicted on charges of perjury and attempted obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said he knowingly made false statements in testifying before a grand jury on the investigation into Madigan and ComEd.
In all, more than a dozen people were charged as prosecutors made their way closer and closer to Wednesday's indictment of the man many believed the feds would never get.
Madigan has denied any wrongdoing in the case, saying in a statement Wednesday in part, "I was never involved in any criminal activity. The government is attempting to criminalize a routine constituent service: job recommendations. That is not illegal, and these other charges are equally unfounded."
Campaign finance records show his political fund has paid the law firm he retained in this case more than $4 million over the past two years. Some of the charges against him carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.