Mayor Lightfoot Calls ComEd's Response to Bribery Scandal ‘Inadequate'

ComEd will pay $200 million as part of an agreement to resolve the federal bribery investigation

Lori Lightfoot
Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote a letter to the CEO of Commonwealth Edison Monday, calling the utility company's response to its involvement in a federal bribery scandal "inadequate."

In a letter addressed to CEO Joseph Dominguez, Lightfoot said she was "deeply disturbed" by ComEd's conduct in a bribery scheme in which investigators say the company admitted to arranging jobs and payments for associates of an elected official.

A court filing previously identified that elected official as "Speaker of the Illinois House and the longest serving member of the House of Representatives," a description that seems only to fit Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

ComEd will pay $200 million as part of an agreement to resolve the federal criminal investigation.

As the company's franchise agreement with the city is set to expire at the end of 2020, Lightfoot said city leaders won't "make rash decisions about such an important and essential service as electricity."

In order to contemplate a new agreement with ComEd, Lightfoot said the city expects the company to implement a comprehensive ethics reform plain and be committed to her administration's goals energy, sustainability, equitable economic development, utility affordability and transparency.

"Put simply, ComEd touches every Chicagoan's daily life; I can only imagine the significant impact a $200 million dollar investment of money in the city would have had improving our neighborhoods, assisting low-income consumers or achieving clean energy goals," Lightfoot said.

ComEd "arranged jobs, vendor subcontracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and subcontracts, for various associates of a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois, to influence and reward the official’s efforts to assist ComEd with respect to legislation concerning ComEd and its business," the office of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch said in a statement on July 17.

The largest electric utility in Illinois "understood that, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Public Official A was able to exercise control over what measures were called for a vote in the House of Representatives and had substantial influence and control over fellow lawmakers concerning legislation, including legislation that affected ComEd," the court filing reads.

In her letter to the CEO Monday, Lightfoot emphasized that ComEd's breach of public trust is "far from over as far as the city of Chicago is concerned."

"We expect a significant commitment from the company to right historic wrongs through its own internal ethics reforms and to demonstrate a commitment to assist in the achievement of my Administration's goals..." the mayor said.

Contact Us