The Illinois state representative appointed to take former longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan's seat in the legislature resigned Wednesday following allegations of "questionable conduct," less than three days after he was sworn into office.
Rep. Edward Guerra Kodatt submitted a letter of resignation with the House clerk Wednesday morning, a spokesman for Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch said. Kodatt, who did not immediately respond to request for comment, was subsequently listed as a former member of the House on the legislature's website.
His resignation came hours after Madigan and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn said they had asked him to step down over "alleged questionable conduct."
“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 a joint statement. “We are committed to a zero tolerance policy in the workplace.”
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Kodatt, 26, was sworn in as Madigan’s replacement in the statehouse on Sunday. Further details on the alleged conduct were not immediately available. He has served as an infrastructure manager for the Chicago City Council for the last four years, working closely with Quinn in that role.
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 backing, Kodatt received 63% of the vote and was sworn into office that same day.
A new meeting to select a representative to fill that role will be held Thursday morning.
“After a fair and robust process on Sunday, we are prepared to proceed with selecting a replacement for the 22nd District Illinois House seat from the pool of candidates who already presented to the selection committee," Madigan said in a statement, noting that he planned to nominate the candidate who received the second most votes on Sunday.
"I believe the most equitable way to proceed is to nominate the candidate who received the second-highest vote count. It is my intention to nominate Angelica Guerrero Cuellar," Madigan continued.
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 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."