Mike Madigan urges his successor to resign, two days after crafting his appointment


Just two days after personally anointing his successor in the Illinois House of Representatives, Mike Madigan abruptly urged the District 13 employee Tuesday to resign due to “alleged questionable conduct.”

Madigan was instrumental in engineering the appointment of 26-year-old State Representative Edward Guerra Kodatt on Sunday, giving him 56% of the weighted vote. But just over 48 hours later, the former speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives suddenly changed gears.

“After learning of the alleged questionable conduct of Mr. Kodatt, it was suggested that he resign as a state representative on the 22ndNorth Dakota District, ”Madigan said Tuesday night in a joint statement with Ald. Marty Quinn (13th). “We are committed to a zero tolerance policy in the workplace.”

The statement did not elaborate on the nature of the “questionable conduct.”

With the support of two other members of the Democratic committee, Kodatt received 63% of the weighted vote necessary to replace Madigan during a Democratic meeting held Sunday morning in the building that also houses Madigan’s headquarters on the southwest side.

Former Speaker of the State House of Representatives Mike Madigan speaks during a committee hearing on the Southwest Side on Sunday.
Ashlee Rezin García / Sun-Times Archive

CapitolFax first reported on Madigan’s change of mind.

It was not immediately clear if Kodatt would resign. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Madigan, 78, also serves as a member of the District 13 committee. He and four other members of the Cook County Democratic Party were appointed to the seat that Madigan had held for half a century.

Kodatt has worked as an infrastructure manager for Quinn, Madigan’s handpicked councilman, since July 2017. Chicago data lists him as a staff assistant and he earns $ 42,456 annually.

Quinn and Kodatt sat next to each other in Sunday’s meeting. Kodatt’s mother and girlfriend were also in the room for the swearing-in, which came immediately after the vote.

Edward Guerra Kodatt speaks during a committee hearing on the Southwest Side to decide who will replace former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan as state representative in the 22nd House District on Sunday.
(Ashlee Rezin García File / Chicago Sun-Times

During that meeting, Ald. Silvana Tabares (23), who is also the member of her ward’s Democratic committee, asked Kodatt tough questions during her presentation.

Tabares endorsed a rival candidate, Angélica Guerrero-Cuellar, for the position.

And after Kodatt won, Tabares said he will have to “reapply to the people who matter, and those are our constituents.”

“The voters, the residents, must have a voice,” Tabares said. “They are the ones who really matter in this process, so he will have to talk to them. He is responsible to them. “

Ald.  Derrick Curtis (18) looks like Ald.  Silvana Tabares (23) asks a question during a meeting on the southwest side on Sunday to choose who will take the Madigan's House seat.

Ald. Derrick Curtis (18) looks like Ald. Silvana Tabares (23) asks a question during a meeting on the southwest side on Sunday to choose who will take the Madigan’s House seat.
Ashlee Rezin García / Sun-Times Archive

Two other committee members who also voted for Kodatt on Sunday were Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th) and Stickney’s Vincent Cainkar, who gave his share of the weighted vote to Curtis. State Representative Aaron Ortiz, who also serves as a committee member for District 14, endorsed another candidate.

Madigan’s abrupt turnaround is the latest turn in his downward political spiral – an embarrassment for a veteran politician with a reputation for being several steps ahead of his rivals.

The former Southwest Side powerhouse resigned as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party on Monday, less than a week after he resigned from the Illinois House of Representatives seat he has held since 1971 and six weeks since the embattled lawmaker resigned his attempt to remain president.

It all started last summer after federal prosecutors accused ComEd officials of bribing Madigan’s associates in exchange for his organization’s help in passing favorable legislation.

Madigan has not been charged with any crime and denies wrongdoing, but four members of his inner circle were charged in November in connection with the alleged bribery scheme.

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