Running the Dodgy Political Play

Alongside their intelligence, human beings are also known for committing mistakes every now and then. This error-prone tendency of ours has, in fact, popped up on the surface quite a few times throughout our history, with each of these appearances practically forcing us to look for a defensive cover. We will, on our part, find the stated cover once we bring dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. Having a well-defined authority across each and every area was a game-changer, as it instantly concealed our many shortcomings, and consequentially, ushered us towards a whole new reality. However, the utopia to emerge here didn’t stick around for very long, and if we are to tell you why, it was all technology’s fault. The moment technology got its layered nature to take over the scene; it allowed every individual an unprecedented chance to exploit others for their own benefit. In case this didn’t sound bad enough, the whole runner soon began to materialize on a scale so massive that it expectantly overwhelmed our governing forces and sent them back to the drawing board. After a long time in the wilderness, though, it seems like the regulatory contingent is finally ready to make a comeback. This has only turned more and more evident over the recent past, and a new lawsuit against AT&T should solidify its traces moving forward.

AT&T Illinois has formally agreed to pay a fine worth $23 million in relation to a case that accused the company of making illegal payments for gaining unscrupulous influence over a bill. As per Ars Technica, the telecom giant paid former Illinois Speaker of the House, Michael J. Madigan’s associate a sum of $22,500, and it did so just to push a bill that would have let it off the hook for providing landline telephone service to everyone in the state. The plan worked, as the bill was passed, but all the conspirators involved are now forced into facing the music. For instance, beyond the hefty fine, AT&T is ordered to setup a compliance and ethics program. Hold on, there’s more. In order to prove that the program is being implemented properly, the company will also have to share reports about it with the government. If all these obligations are fulfilled, though, the authorities will dismiss the relevant prosecution.

As for Madigan, this is, interestingly enough, not the first time the former speaker has found himself in the middle of such a controversy. Back in March, Madigan was charged for his alleged role in an estimated $3 million racketeering bribery scheme involving Commonwealth Edison. Hence, with the AT&T-related probe against him still underway, it will be interesting to see how things shake out for the former speaker.

In response to the penalty, an unnamed spokesperson from AT&T said:

“We hold ourselves and our contractors to the highest ethical standards. We are committed to ensuring that this never happens again.”


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