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Judge pauses SEC case against ex-ComEd boss Anne Pramaggiore

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(The Center Square) – A federal judge has temporarily paused the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against former Commonwealth Edison boss Anne Pramaggiore.

A jury convicted Pramaggiore and three others in May 2023 of bribery-related charges as part of a multi-year scheme to corruptly influence longtime former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in exchange for favorable legislation in Springfield. Prosecutors said that the utility paid out $1.3 million in jobs, contracts and payments to associates of Madigan over eight years. Pramaggiore has not yet been sentenced in that case and is appealing the criminal conviction.

In the SEC case, Pramaggiore previously asked to put everything on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a case focused on the federal bribery statute.

Judge Franklin Valderrama said proceeding at this point would put Pramaggiore “between a rock and a hard place.”

“Pramaggiore argues that the SEC will not be prejudiced if the Court grants the stay, pointing out that the SEC waited for years to bring this action,” the judge wrote in the order. “The Court agrees. The SEC’s invocation of its interest in ‘expeditious civil litigation’ rings hollow, as the SEC delayed bringing this action against Pramaggiore for years.”

The judge ordered a stay in the case “until the parallel criminal proceedings, including any appeals or retrials, are complete.”

In December 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to take up the case of James E. Snyder v. U.S. A decision in that case is expected in May, June or July.

The SEC’s complaint against Pramaggiore alleges she participated in, and in some instances directed, the bribery scheme. The complaint alleges that Pramaggiore did not disclose the bribery scheme and instead misled investors when she characterized ComEd’s lobbying activities as legitimate. The complaint also alleges that, as part of the scheme, Pramaggiore lied to Exelon’s auditors and filed false certifications.

Pramaggiore’s defense team previously asked for a stay in the SEC case, citing in part her “strong likelihood of success” in overturning her conviction. Pramaggiore also recently got a reprieve from her sentencing in the federal criminal case while the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a case focused on the federal bribery statute she was convicted of violating.

Pramaggiore’s defense team noted that the judge overseeing her criminal case had paused sentencing in that case until after the Supreme Court decision in the Snyder case.

The SEC opposed the stay.