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Former aide to disgraced Illinois House Speaker sentenced to prison

Tim Mapes, former chief of staff to disgraced Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, was sentenced Monday to 30 months in prison after he lied to a federal grand jury investigating his former boss on allegations of public corruption.

Mapes was convicted in August 2023 on one count of providing false testimony under oath to a federal grand jury and one count of obstruction of justice.

U.S. District Judge John Kness said at the hearing he was struggling to understand why Mapes ended up in this situation, the Chicago Tribune reported. Mapes had been granted immunity in the investigation into his former boss, as long as he told the truth.

“This is a very sad case to me, because I don’t understand why you did what you did,” Kness said, according to the Tribune. “You were immunized in the grand jury, and all you had to do was go in there and tell the truth.”

Kness speculated Mapes was motivated by a sense of loyalty to his former boss.

“You knew what you were doing when you went into the grand jury and you lied,” Kness added, according to the Tribune. “I don’t know why you did this. Perhaps this was out of some sense of loyalty, but if that’s the case your loyalty was greatly misguided.”

According to local news outlet Wand TV, Mapes will report to prison in mid-June to begin his sentence. WGN9 reported he has 14 days to appeal the sentence.

The judge’s 2.5-year sentence is shy of the five years prosecutors had wanted and more than the probation that the defense attorneys requested. Kness said in the trial that, in determining the sentence, he took Mapes’s age into account.

“I do not believe a five-year sentence was necessary or appropriate. The people of this state cry out for accountability, but I’m not going to make you accountable for the conduct of others,” Kness said, according to Wand TV.

Mapes long had a high-profile job as gatekeeper to the powerful state House Speaker and as executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois. He was forced to resign in 2018 amid a sexual harassment scandal and concerns about his handling of the allegations.

The Tribune reported that Mapes, reading from a sheet of paper in court, said he tried to serve the state as best he could.

“For 30 years, I tried my best to serve the people of the state of Illinois,” Mapes said, the Tribune reported. “I never intended to be anything but a public servant. … I tried in ways big and small to live my life as a good man.”

Mapes also said he knows people in Illinois “have lost faith in their government and that breaks my heart,” adding, “it is contrary to everything I have tried to do in my career, and it brings me sorrow,” the Tribune reported.

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