CHICAGO (AP) – AT&T Illinois has agreed to pay a $23 million fine as part of a federal criminal investigation into the company’s illegal efforts to influence former House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The investigation of AT&T Illinois, which was previously reported by the Chicago Tribune earlier this year, is being resolved with a deferred prosecution agreement under which the company admitted it arranged for payments to be made to an ally of Madigan to influence the powerful speaker’s efforts to assist with legislation sought by the company in Springfield.
In exchange for admitting guilt and paying a $23 million fine, the charge will be dropped by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in two years.
The payments to [former state Rep. Edward Acevedo] were made via a lobbying contract between AT&T and Thomas Cullen, a former Madigan staffer and longtime political strategist aligned with the speaker, two sources told the newspaper.
Acevedo was a registered lobbyist at the time, state records show, but not for AT&T, and the sources said the amount of work Acevedo actually did for AT&T is in question.