Two former Illinois governors, now out of prison, have advice for House Speaker Michael Madigan

Two former Illinois governors who served time in federal prison have some unsolicited advice for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.



George Ryan standing in front of a building


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Former Gov. George Ryan, who served prison time for federal corruption charges, was the Speaker of the House before Madigan was elected speaker in 1983.

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“I always got along with Mike and we worked together pretty much to get things done for the state and we worked together when I was speaker and when I was governor,” Ryan said in an interview. “Mike’s got his hands full, I think.”

Ryan, a Republican, is doing interviews promoting his book, “Until I Could Be Sure,” which focuses on his steps to stop the death penalty in Illinois in 1999 before being convicted and sentenced to prison for corruption in 2006.

The 86-year-old Ryan had a message for the 78-year-old Madigan about being in the scope of federal investigators.

“You know when the FBI puts their ‘x’ on you that they’re going to prosecute you, they’re only about 92 percent effective,” Ryan said. “They’re probably the most effective agency in government.”

“That’s always the best advice, be open and above board about everything,” Ryan said.

In late July on his podcast for WLS radio, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Madigan should be honest.

“If you’re not going to fight back and deny this stuff and tell the people who look to you as a major public official that not only did you not doing anything wrong but ‘I’m going to take the questions and answer specific allegations and I’ve got nothing to hide,’ unless you do that then you’re telling me you’re guilty,” Blagojevich said.

Blagojevich, a Democrat who calls himself a “Trumpocrat,” maintains his innocence of federal corruption charges despite serving years in prison, only to have his sentence commuted by President Donald Trump earlier this year.

The Speaker needs to come clean with the people of Illinois, Blagojevich said.

“We don’t have a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” Blagojevich said. “It is instead government of Mike Madigan, by Mike Madigan and for Mike Madigan.”

Madigan Friday declined to voluntarily testify in front of a House committee. Tuesday’s House hearing in Springfield won’t have any witnesses, according to chairman state Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside. It’s unclear if the committee will move to subpoena Madigan to testify, Madigan said Friday that he won’t appear before the committee.

Tags: States, News, Illinois, Death Penalty, Rod Blagojevich

Original Author: Greg Bishop, The Center Square

Original Location: Two former Illinois governors, now out of prison, have advice for House Speaker Michael Madigan

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Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard reports to jail to start prison sentence

Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard reported this afternoon to the Lee County sheriff’s office in Opelika to begin his prison sentence.

Hubbard turned himself in at 5:05 p.m., the online jail log shows.

Lance Bell, an attorney for Hubbard, said Hubbard was taken to the Russell County jail in Phenix City, where he is being held.

The Alabama Supreme Court denied Hubbard’s request for a rehearing two weeks ago, exhausting his state appeals.

Hubbard, 58, was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for violating the state ethics law. He has been out on appeal since.

Bell released a brief statement this evening.

“Mike Hubbard is a strong Christian man and has accepted the current situation but firmly believes in his innocence and looks forward to exploring other options to clear his name,” Bell said.

Joel Dillard, another lawyer for Hubbard, had said two weeks ago that the defense team would recommend that Hubbard file a federal appeal.

When the state Supreme Court turned down Hubbard’s request for a rehearing on August 28, the attorney general’s office said that left him with 15 days to report to jail to be turned over to the Department of Corrections.

A Lee County jury convicted Hubbard of 12 ethics violations. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld 11 of the 12. The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed six of the 11 and overturned five.

Hubbard was one of Alabama’s most powerful politicians until his conviction, which automatically removed him from office.

Related: 6-year saga: Timeline of Mike Hubbard’s ethics case

Prosecutors said Hubbard used his public office to enrich himself, partly through consulting contracts.

Hubbard has maintained his innocence since his indictment in 2014 and said the transactions that led to the charges were normal business activities not related to his public office. He testified for three days during his 2016 trial.

The six convictions involved consulting contracts with three companies that paid Hubbard a total of $525,000 while he was speaker, from 2012 to 2014.

Lee County voters first elected Hubbard to the House of Representatives in 1998, a time when Democrats controlled the Legislature. They would elect him to four more four-year terms.

Hubbard became state Republican Party chair and in 2010 helped orchestrate a campaign in which the GOP took control of the Legislature for the first time in 136 years. Hubbard’s House colleagues elected him speaker, a position he retained until his conviction in 2016.

Shortly after the 2010 election, the new Republican-controlled Legislature met in a special session to put tighter restrictions in the state ethics law, fulfilling a campaign promise.

Hubbard was convicted under the enhanced law that he helped pass.

The former speaker has maintained his innocence since his indictment by a Lee County special grand jury in 2014, which led to his trial two years later.

This story was updated at 3:03 p.m. on Sept. 12 to say that Hubbard is being held at the Russell County jail in Phenix City.

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Alabama Ex-House speaker reports to begin prison sentence



FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 file photo, Mike Hubbard, former Alabama Speaker of the House, and his wife, Susan, arrive for a post trial hearing at the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika, Ala..  Mike Hubbard reported Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 to a county detention center to begin the sentence after an  unsuccessful effort to overturn his conviction. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP, Pool)


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FILE – In this Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 file photo, Mike Hubbard, former Alabama Speaker of the House, and his wife, Susan, arrive for a post trial hearing at the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika, Ala.. Mike Hubbard reported Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 to a county detention center to begin the sentence after an unsuccessful effort to overturn his conviction. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP, Pool)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, for years once of the state’s most influential politicians, reported to jail Friday to begin a prison sentence for his 2016 ethics conviction.

Hubbard reported to the Lee County Detention Center in Opelika, according to jail records, to begin his four-year sentence. The Auburn Republican was for years one of the state’s most powerful politicians until the ethics conviction in a corruption case ended his political career.

Prosecutors accused Hubbard of leveraging his powerful public office to obtain clients and investments for his businesses. His defense lawyers maintained the transactions were all aboveboard.

“Mike Hubbard is a strong Christian man and has accepted the current situation but firmly believes in his innocence and looks forward to exploring other options to clear his name,” attorney Lance Bell said.

A jury in 2016 convicted Hubbard of 12 counts of violating the state ethics law, but six were overturned on appeal. The Alabama Supreme Court last month refused to reconsider the case.

The Alabama attorney general’s office said Hubbard had until Saturday to report to the jail to be processed and turned over to the Department of Corrections.

He had been free on appeal since his 2016 conviction as he unsuccessfully fought to completely overturn his conviction.

Attorney David McKnight said they are considering additional appeals or asking a judge to reduce his sentence since some counts have been overturned.

Hubbard, the architect of the GOP’s takeover of the Alabama Legislature in 2010, was a legislator from Auburn and former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. He was elected House speaker soon after the Republicans won control of both legislative chambers.

Hubbard was automatically removed from office after his 2016 felony conviction.

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Janesville man sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting 9-year-old boy in bathroom behind school

JANESVILLE, Wis. — A 20-year-old Janesville man found guilty of sexually assaulting a boy was sentenced to prison Thursday.

Dakota Potts was sentenced to six years in prison but will receive 637 days of sentence credit, meaning he has about four years and three months to serve in prison.

Potts was sentenced to nine years of extended supervision in Rock County Court. He was convicted of second-degree sexual assault for assaulting a 9-year-old boy in a bathroom near the football stadium at Wilson School Park in 2018.

Potts will be on the sex offender registry for life.

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