AT&T has been fined $23 million for bribing an Illinois lawmaker, continuing its excellent track record of paying fines.
The latest fine is part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in which AT&T’s subsidiary in Illinois will pay $23 million in response to an investigation into alleged misconduct involving Michael J. Madigan, a former state lawmaker.
A lengthy criminal investigation found that AT&T executives bribed people close to the former lawmaker’s ally to secure a key political vote on the 2017 Carrier of Last Resort (COLR) legislation in 2017, which would have stripped AT& T of its obligation to continue providing landline service to all residents of the state, according to the Justice Department.
AT&T was reportedly unhappy with the provision of outdated landlines, often used by elderly people who cannot afford or understand cellular services, and instead of making its case, AT&T used an intermediary lobbying firm to transfer $22,500 to former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan to influence his vote.
Sources for this piece include an article in TechDirt