State Sen. Emil Jones III hit with federal bribery charges tied to red-light camera investigation

Illinois State Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, speaks to members of the media after stepping out of the closed door negotiations for the next Senate President at the Illinois State Capitol, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Springfield, Ill.

Justin L. Fowler, AP Photos

State Sen. Emil Jones III has been hit with federal bribery charges as part of a yearslong investigation involving the politically connected red-light camera company SafeSpeed LLC.

Jones, son of former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr., is also charged with lying to the FBI.

The feds filed their charges against the younger Jones in a document known as an information, which typically signals a defendant’s intention to plead guilty. The Chicago Democrat is now the latest in a long line of Illinois politicians to face charges since the feds’ probe of SafeSpeed-related deals surfaced in 2019.

Others who have faced charges related to SafeSpeed include the late state Sen. Martin Sandoval, former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta, former Worth Township Supervisor John O’Sullivan and former Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Tony Ragucci.

Also charged separately is former SafeSpeed partner Omar Maani, who played a central role in many of the schemes outlined by prosecutors. Maani struck a so-called deferred-prosecution agreement with the feds in 2020 and agreed to cooperate with them.

SafeSpeed has not been charged with wrongdoing and has portrayed Maani as a rogue actor.

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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