SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The special house committee investigating longtime Speaker Mike Madigan's involvement in a bribery scheme won't return to Springfield this week.
Committee Chairman Emanuel "Chris" Welch canceled the meeting Wednesday morning stating the group is waiting for critical documents from Commonwealth Edison.
"Both Democrats and Republicans believe these documents will provide critical context to our work," Welch stated. "While we face a surge in COVID cases across the state and new mitigation guidelines, holding a hearing without these requested documents would not only be unproductive but also an unnecessary risk for members, staff, and our communities at large."
The Hillside Democrat also announced former ComEd Executive Fidel Marquez declined an invitation to testify before the committee. However, Marquez pleaded guilty in September for his involvement in the bribery scheme.
Committee members have only met twice, although the legislative investigation has gained significant public attention. Welch purposely planned for the group to meet after the election to avoid the backdrop of political campaigns. House Republicans consistently say Welch has acted as a shield for Madigan throughout the process.
"Chris Welch said that he was going to run a professional investigation," Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) said on October 6. "This is not how a professional runs an investigation. This is how a political professional covers up the truth and crushes an investigation."
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin scheduled a press conference Wednesday to address the postponed committee hearing. However, Durkin had to cancel the virtual conference due to technical difficulties. Spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said Durkin will speak on the issue Thursday morning.