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Former Speaker Michael Madigan's racketeering trial delayed until October

Former Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan's trial pushed back to October
Former Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan's trial pushed back to October 00:32

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A federal judge has agreed to push back former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's racketeering trial by six months, as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs a separate bribery conviction that could have a major impact on the case against Madigan.

Madigan and his co-defendant, longtime confidant Michael McClain, had been scheduled to go on trial on April 1, but U.S. District Judge Robert Blakey agreed Wednesday to delay that trial until Oct. 8, to allow time for the Supreme Court to issue a ruling in a bribery case involving former Portage, Indiana, Mayor James Snyder.

The question the Supreme Court is taking up is whether the federal bribery statute criminalizes so-called "gratuities" to public officials – or payments intended to recognize actions public officials have taken or plan to take, but without a quid pro quo agreement.

If the court rules in favor of Snyder, it could impact some of the charges against Madigan, and Blakey acknowledged such a ruling could result in the need for a retrial for Madigan and McClain if their trial isn't delayed.

Madigan and McClain are facing a federal indictment charging them with racketeering, conspiracy, bribery, and wire fraud, most of which carry up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted.

They are accused of a bribery scheme involving multiple businesses - including ComEd - in which the businesses paid Madigan's associates as a reward for their loyalty to Madigan. Federal prosecutors said Madigan used his various political positions as part of a long-term scheme to arrange for no-show jobs for his political workers, and personal benefits for himself.

Wednesday's hearing was the first time Madigan appeared in court in person for his case, even though Blakey had allowed him to instead appear by video conference. At prior hearings, Madigan attended only by phone, and was not asked to speak himself. McClain attended Wednesday's hearing by video conference.

Both have pleaded not guilty to all charges. Last year, McClain and three others were convicted in a related ComEd bribery case. The judge in that case already has agreed to delay their sentencing hearings over concerns of the impact of the Supreme Court ruling in the Snyder case.

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