Mapes set for sentencing after judge rejects call for delay | Illinois

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(The Center Square) – Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s longtime chief of staff is set to be sentenced at a hearing Monday after a judge rejected his request for a delay in the case.

Tim Mapes, 68, served for decades under Madigan as the clerk of the Illinois House and as Madigan’s chief of staff. In August, a federal jury found Mapes guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying to a grand jury investigating Madigan and others.

He is set to be sentenced at 10 a.m. Monday in the courtroom of Judge John Kness. 

Mapes had asked Kness to stay the proceedings in his case until after the U.S. Supreme Court decides Snyder v. United States, a case that focuses on the federal bribery statute. But Kness rejected that request.

“To begin, Defendant was not convicted of bribery; he was instead found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice, two crimes that involve statutes entirely different from the statute at issue in Snyder and in the case against Mr. Madigan,” the judge wrote. 

Prosecutors want Mapes to spend up to five years in prison to send a message to Springfield about his conduct. Defense attorneys have asked for Mapes to be sentenced to time served.

“A Guidelines sentence in this case will send an important message to those in Springfield and elsewhere within this State who still foolishly cling to Mapes’ view that circling the wagons to ‘protect the boss’ is acceptable – even if it means lying to federal law enforcement and the grand jury,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo. “This conduct will not be tolerated. A stiff sentence, one called for by the Guidelines, is necessary to send the message that even the powerful and well-connected must abide by their duty to provide truthful testimony to the grand jury.”

Defense attorneys said no time behind bars was necessary in the case.

“Sending this nearly 70-year-old man to prison would achieve nothing more than to inflict undue additional suffering and hardship on Tim, his family, and his community,” his defense attorney Andrew Porter wrote. “Incarceration is not necessary in this case in order to achieve deterrence or to promote respect for the law. Tim respects the criminal justice process and accepts the jury’s verdict, but he did not believe he was lying or obstructing the grand jury’s investigation.”

Mapes’ defense team said he was a loyal public servant who worked to make Illinois a better place. His defense also pointed to 130 letters written by supporters. His defense team on Thursday asked that those letters be sealed from public view.

“Many of the letters contain very personal and private stories, with many including personal and private medical information about the letter-writers or their family,” defense attorney Andrew Porter wrote. “Counsel has been asked by many letter writers to seek permission to have their letters submitted to the Court under seal.”

Kness had not ruled on the request to seal the letters as of Thursday afternoon.

According to the indictment, Mapes acted as a courier exchanging messages between Madigan and former state Rep. Michael McClain, who worked as a lobbyist for Commonwealth Edison after retiring from the House. The indictment alleged that Mapes lied to the grand jury when asked about Madigan’s relationship with McClain, even though Mapes had been granted immunity to testify truthfully.

Mapes was fired from his position under Madigan in 2018 after public allegations of harassment against colleagues. An inspector general in 2019 said Mapes should never be allowed to work for state government again.

ComEd, the state’s largest utility, agreed to pay $200 million in July 2020 to resolve a criminal investigation into the years-long bribery scheme. As part of a deferred prosecution agreement, ComEd admitted it arranged jobs, vendor subcontracts and payments in a bid to influence Madigan.

Madigan served in the Illinois House from 1971 to 2021. He served as speaker of the Illinois House from 1983 to 1995 and again from 1997 to 2021. He wielded additional power as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Madigan, who resigned after losing the House speakership in January 2021, has been charged with 23 counts of racketeering, bribery and official misconduct in a separate case, along with McClain, that could go to trial in October 2024. He has pleaded not guilty.



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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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