Madigan says he won’t testify before special committee

 Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, in Friday letter, said he won’t testify before a special committee looking into his conduct in connection with a utility’s alleged bribery scheme designed to curry favor with the Democrat.

The committee formed at the request of House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs is to probe Madigan’s activities in a scheme relating to Commonwealth Edison. Durkin accuses Madigan of engaging in conduct unbecoming to a legislator.

In his letter to committee members, which came a day after ComEd officials said they will testify at a Tuesday hearing, Madigan called Durkin’s actions politically motived and designed to garner free media for himself and his political candidates.

ComEd entered a criminal agreement with the U.S. Justice Department in July to pay a $200 million fine for its role in a bribery conspiracy in exchange for cooperation in U.S. Attorney John Lausch’s ongoing investigation. As part of the agreement, the utility giant admitted it engaged in bribery with the House speaker in exchange for favorable legislation. Madigan has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing.

In his letter to committee members, Madigan wrote he was never told of any attempt by ComEd to influence him by hiring people he recommended.