Prosecutors want up to five years in prison for Madigan’s former chief of staff


(The Center Square) – Prosecutors want former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s longtime chief of staff to spend up to five years in prison to send a message to Springfield while defense attorneys want him to avoid prison.

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.

Prosecutors asked District Court Judge John Kness to sentence Mapes to 51 to 63 months in prison. Mapes’ defense attorney asked for time served, supervised release and community service hours.

Prosecutors said a prison sentence was warranted.

“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 this 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.”

Prosecutors said Mapes’ unwillingness to admit he did something wrong is part of the problem.

“Even now, after a jury convicted Mapes of both perjury and obstruction of justice, and of every single false statement listed in the indictment, Mapes still refuses to accept responsibility for his actions,” prosecutors wrote. “He instead blames the government for not presenting him with more information when he repeatedly (and falsely) asserted a lack of memory before the grand jury.”

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.

“The letters submitted by Tim’s family, friends, and former colleagues depict a man who overcame very tough family circumstances as a child; worked extremely hard in service to the people of the State of Illinois for decades; developed a reputation for hard work, integrity, and looking out for the little guy; and created a wonderful and loving family,” Porter wrote.

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.

Mapes’ sentencing hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 12.

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 that could go to trial in October 2024. He has pleaded not guilty.

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