Friday, August 24, 2012

Michael Madigan's son's employer rakes in suburbs' insurance business

Municipalities have magically switched to Mesirow Financial since Andrew Madigan joined firm


The son of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is forging a successful insurance career in the Chicago suburbs with the help of mayors who look to his powerful father to advance their political and legislative agendas.

Andrew Madigan, 26, joined the powerhouse Chicago firm Mesirow Financial in 2008 after interning with the company during college. Since 2010, he has worked in business development for the company's insurance division, where he is now a vice president.

His job: connecting with decision-makers, laying the groundwork for new business and then handing over the details to teams of Mesirow insurance brokers who seal the deals.

His emergence into a political world long dominated by his father raises new questions about the intersection of the speaker's public and private interests.

In the last two years, Mesirow has won new government business tied to Andrew Madigan in more than a half-dozen suburbs, according to public records and Tribune interviews. In at least three towns where Mesirow won business — Chicago Heights, McCook and Bridgeview — the speaker did favors for the mayors around the same time the suburbs hired the firm.

Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez benefited from Madigan's political machine in the closing days of his election. McCook Mayor Jeffrey Tobolski, also a Cook County commissioner, got Madigan's assurance that a legislative effort targeting dual officeholders was going nowhere. And Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek was appointed to an open seat in the state Senate with Madigan's help.

All three mayors say their connections to the speaker had nothing to do with their decision to hire Mesirow.

Company officials declined to specify the public or private contracts Madigan has helped win nor would they put any dollar figure on his value to the company.

"He's a hardworking kid, and he's done a terrific job for us," said Norm J. Malter, president of the insurance services division at Mesirow. "In business, people hire those who can go out and build relationships. Andrew is one of those people."

Mayors said they have bumped into the younger Madigan at political events attended by local leaders — including at the annual 13th Ward appreciation dinner thrown by his father, the ward boss. Andrew Madigan handed out his business card at last year's event attended by some 300 political supporters, officials and community leaders.

Although Andrew Madigan's success has been good for Mesirow, it has raised the ire of some local brokers who have lost business in his wake.

One longtime broker in Chicago Heights accused Gonzalez of giving Mesirow business as "payback" for Michael Madigan's help in the city election. The mayor said it was a false allegation from a bitter man.

The lack of transparency in Illinois makes it difficult for the taxpayers to know whether favoritism exists and how it might affect the cost of their government, said Rey Lopez-Calderon, executive director of the Illinois office of the government watchdog group Common Cause.

"If he is using his father's political influence to get business, obviously that is fundamentally unethical," Lopez-Calderon said. "People can feel they are being strong-armed or intimidated, and it could end up with business flowing to a small group of family and friends.

"But to us it is a broader issue. These things should be traceable. … Andrew Madigan should be called upon to disclose where he seeks business and which entities are changing contracts. Anyone who hands a business card to our political leaders should be subject to lobbyist laws, but in this state our laws are so weak that none of that is required."

Speaker Madigan's spokesman, Steve Brown, said any attempt to connect Andrew Madigan's business to the work of his father was "kind of a stretch."

Asked about whether it is appropriate for Andrew Madigan to be soliciting business at his father's political events, Brown said he had no knowledge it ever happened.

Brown referenced a Tribune series detailing how the speaker makes public decisions that affect the bottom line for clients of his private property tax law firm. Michael Madigan described those reports as "garbage."

"I talked to the speaker ... and he said to me, 'It looks like the garbage haulers are on a new route, and now they're trying to dirty up my family,'" Brown said. "So that's really about all I would have to say about any of this."

Andrew Madigan declined to be interviewed.

The municipal insurance business is a highly competitive industry long steeped in political connections and personal relationships.

Insurance has been a starting point for the sons of Chicago politicians before. Cook County Commissioner John Daley, one of Richard J. Daley's sons and brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, began his career in insurance and still works in the field.

Andrew Madigan's political lineage speaks for itself.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Be quick on it Madigan since comrade sobama the immaculate messiah, the one is out to destroy all suburbs with vibrant diversity.

Anonymous said...

26 years old and he's the VP of the company!? Unfucking believable the clout that these crooks have!!

Anonymous said...

This can't be true a Madigan taking advantage of the system. I just don't believe it, it can't be. The media is out to get the Madigan's

Anonymous said...

This whole family should get out of the State of Illinois.

If this family alone just left, so many of our problems would be resolved.


It is a shame to see a state so pillaged and manipulated by a single dynasty from political appointments to revenue to law firms to insurance to obtaining approval to run for elective offices. The list could continue. It is shocking!

Anonymous said...

It's all legit. Andrew was the top student in every school the state has donated money to, making him the smartest and brightest in the school. It's no wonder he is VP of the legit business of insurance.

Anonymous said...

I bet Lisa Madigan will be all over this with a proper investigation, lol. This state is so fucked!

Anonymous said...

its just a coincidence.......

just like john daleys insurance company that insured every city hired truck.

nothing to see here folks, just move along.

Anonymous said...

They might as well milk the system for all its worth. The voters are too ignorant to care and deserve a thorough milking. Besides, they know they will get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will ever change...for the better....in this shithole state,city or county.

Anonymous said...

That's it it's official Illinois is done. The feds are a joke, let alone our own attorney general.

Anonymous said...

daley and his kid, and nephew raping our pension and what ever else they could get their paws on, the madigan crime family....yada,yada...
Wake up you morons. If you owe you owe, but in the voting box do the right thing for Christ's Sakes.
4 more years then GONE.

Anonymous said...

We seriously need to revolt.

Anonymous said...

And the Democrats constantly tell the Sheeple that theRepublicans are all Ultra-Rich and connected.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
That's it it's official Illinois is done. The feds are a joke, let alone our own attorney general.

August 24, 2012 12:44 PM

That's because the Feds are corrupt too.

Anonymous said...

I remember having a conversation with Mike Madigan, his belief was that the Firemen & Police officers in Chicago made too much money and that they typically had the bigger homes in his ward. he honestly believed it was not fair we were trying to better ourselves.

I hope this democrat phony is put in jail by the Feds for his abuse of power and his phony tax appeals business, he and Joe berrios both need to be in the Slammer.

I Voted For Obama said...

Andrew Madigan voted for Obama, then told him he needed insurance---NOW!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Stealing runs in the Madigan family.

Anonymous said...

If you youtube Michael Madigan, pensions and listen to his bullshit it will make your stomach turn. He is a pompus ass and that his contituants are stupid.

You know what, he is right because he was re elected over and over for 40 years. Ha ha ha...

Anonymous said...

You buy Madigans insurance and Madigan does what he wants anyway dipshits.
You probably use one rag to clean your house and start with the toilet first.

Anonymous said...

Just another thief!!!!

Anonymous said...

Chief hillbilly walrus whale ass AKA the stomach sucks Democrat penis

Anonymous said...

"I talked to the speaker ... and he said to me, 'It looks like the garbage haulers are on a new route, and now they're trying to dirty up my family,'" Brown said. "So that's really about all I would have to say about any of this."

----------------------------------- No Mike, your family was dirtied up when they removed you from the ass of your momma. You and the entire Madigan clan are pieces of shit.
Not surprising that the 3 most corrupt suburban towns are involved. Where's Willow Springs in this matter?