Michael Madigan resigns from the Illinois Basic Meeting

In a statement, the Southwest Sider, who was forced to quit his job as House Speaker in January, said he was "at peace with my decision and proud of the many contributions I have made".

"Fifty years ago I decided to dedicate my life to public service," Madigan said in a statement, without mentioning that he was also building a lucrative property tax practice that made him a very wealthy man. "Simply put, I knew I wanted to change people's lives."

Madigan's statement mentions a number of accomplishments, including saving the Chicago White Sox, fighting former GOP governor Bruce Rauner, and diversifying membership in the Illinois House.

"It is no secret that I have been the target of vicious attacks by people who tried to diminish my many achievements in order to upset the working people in Illinois," he added. He made no mention of the Commonwealth Edison bribery scandal that brought him down. Federal officials appear to be targeting Madigan in this prosecution and directly implicated him in some court documents, but Madigan has not been charged with any crime and has denied any wrongdoing.

Madigan's departure ends an era in which the South Side Democrats have long dominated politics in Chicago and Illinois.

Madigan served not only as a state representative, but also as a democratic commissioner in the 13th district. He was a protégé of Mayor Richard J. Daley, fought briefly with Daley's successor, Mayor Jane Byrne, and then increased his power among successors, including Mayor Richard M. Daley.

In a statement, Madigan's successor as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Chris Welch, praised Madigan as a man of the people who had achieved much. "I thank the former spokesman for his sincere and meaningful contribution to our state," said Welch, noting that same-sex marriage has been legalized, the death penalty abolished and abortion law strengthened. "Now we have to build on that with a new generation of leaders."

Madigan's decision has been awaited since he lost his spokesmanship, and almost everyone in Illinois politics has something to say about it.

In a statement, the Chicago Federation of Labor described Madigan as "a staunch, dedicated, and courageous advocate of Illinois workers and their families for a generation." The association commended Madigan for his commitment to good ethics and noted that in Madigan's nearly four decades as a speaker, the state had set the first limits to campaign contributions.