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Tim Mapes, former aide to Speaker Michael Madigan, to be sentenced for perjury

Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

An FBI wiretap played at Tim Mapes’ perjury trial last year captured the longtime aide to House Speaker Michael Madigan asking a colleague if he was going to put on his “big boy pants” before carrying out a politically thorny Madigan order.

On Monday, it will be Mapes’ turn to put on the big boy pants.

Mapes, who served for years as Madigan’s abrasive and sharp-tongued chief of staff, executive director of the Madigan-run Democratic Party of Illinois, and clerk of the House, is scheduled to be sentenced for lying to a federal grand jury investigating his former boss.

Prosecutors are asking for up to about five years in prison for Mapes, arguing in a recent court filing that Mapes’ lies “were calculated to thwart the government’s sprawling investigation of a series of unlawful schemes calculated to corrupt the government of this state at the highest levels.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diane MacArthur and Julia Schwartz wrote in their filing that when a seasoned public servant like Mapes “makes the calculated and deliberate decision to lie in the grand jury, the criminal justice system, and our entire democracy, is threatened.”

They asked U.S. District Judge John Kness to impose a sentence of 51 to 63 months in prison.


Mapes’ attorneys, meanwhile, asked in a filing of their own for a sentence of probation and community service, arguing Mapes never stood to personally benefit from any of his alleged misstatements and that while he accepts the jury’s verdict he “disagrees with it and continues to maintain his innocence.”

“Tim Mapes is a good man,” defense attorneys Andrew Porter and Katie Hill wrote “… He has spent decades working very hard (and expecting it of others) trying to make the State of Illinois better, fairer, and more compassionate to its citizens.”

Despite Mapes’ reputation among some in Springfield as a power-hungry bully, the defense filing characterized him as a down-to-earth family man who rose from humble beginnings and was always “looking out for the little guy.”

The defense also submitted dozens of letters to the judge from Mapes’ family, friends and former colleagues describing him as a mentor, someone who would always go out of his way to help others, even when no one was looking.


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