In an abrupt reversal, former longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn have asked state Rep. Edward Guerra Kodatt - Madigan's appointed replacement - to resign his statehouse seat over "alleged questionable conduct."
Kodatt, 26, was sworn in as Madigan’s replacement in the 22nd District on Sunday, but is now being asked to step down just two days after taking office, according to a statement from Madigan and Quinn released Tuesday night.
“After learning of alleged questionable conduct by Mr. Kodatt, it was suggested that he resign as state representative for the 22nd District,” Madigan and Quinn said in the statement. “We are committed to a zero tolerance policy in the workplace.”
It is unclear both what led to the request and whether Kodatt intends to resign his seat.
Madigan previously served as speaker of the Illinois House for all but two years since 1983, making him the longest serving statehouse speaker in U.S. history. In January, he ultimately lost his bid to remain speaker for another term when Democrats in the House backed Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch to become the first Black speaker in Illinois history and the chamber’s first new leader in decades.
Madigan then resigned his seat in the statehouse last week after representing the Southwest Side district for just over 50 years.
Madigan's loss of the speakership and his subsequent resignation came after two former ComEd executives and two consultants, one a longtime Madigan associate and confidant, were indicted in November on multiple federal charges related to the alleged scheme to influence Madigan - identified in the indictment as "Public Official A" - in exchange for legislation favorable to the utility giant, prosecutors say.
Those charges were levied months after federal prosecutors in July filed a deferred prosecution agreement with ComEd in which investigators revealed that the utility company agreed to pay $200 million dollars in fines and admitted to arranging jobs and payments for associates of an elected official, referred to only as “Public Official A," from 2011 to 2019 to curry favor with the official.
Madigan has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing and has repeatedly denied the allegations laid out by prosecutors, saying in part that if the conspiracy to influence him did occur, "it was never made known" to him and if it had been, it "would have been profoundly unwelcome."
Madigan remains 13th Ward Democratic Committeeman, giving him 56% of the weighted vote in choosing his successor. He threw his support behind Kodatt, one of 11 candidates seeking the appointment, in a forum on Sunday. With Madigan’s support, Kodatt received 63% of the vote and was sworn into office immediately after the forum on Sunday.
Kodatt has served as an infrastructure manager for the Chicago City Council for the last four years, working closely with Quinn in that role.