State Senator Emil Jones III pleads not guilty to federal bribery charges

State Senator Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty to federal bribery charges Friday after being accused in the Illinois legislature of agreeing to protect politically connected red light camera company SafeSpeed ​​LLC. .

The hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood was conducted by telephone, and Jones was the latest Illinois politician to be indicted by the federal government to avoid the traditional dishonorable walk through Dirksen Federal Courthouse. became. Remote hearings have become the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prosecutors have filed indictments against South Side Democrats in documents commonly known as information showing the defendant’s plans to plead guilty. But there was no sign that Jones would plead guilty on Friday.

Still, Jones waived his constitutional right to be indicted by a grand jury on Friday.

after the charges were made public on Tuesday, Jones resigned as chairman of the Senate Licensing Activities Committee.he has been ignoring Call for resignation from Governor JB Pritzker Completely from the Senate.

Jones is running as an independent for re-election in November.

However, he is now the latest politician to be indicted in connection with SafeSpeed. The list includes Former State Senator Martin Sandoval, Former Crestwood Mayor Luis Presta, Former Worth Township Supervisor John O’Sullivan When Former Oak Brook Terrace Mayor Tony Ragucci.

Jones is also one of at least 11 current and former members of the Illinois legislature charged with federal crimes since 2019.

SafeSpeed ​​has not been charged with any fraudulent activity and depicts a former partner involved in the alleged fraudster. “We are shocked and saddened to learn that one of our former colleagues was involved in criminal activity,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The indictment against Jones points to a Senate bill filed in February 2019 calling for a statewide investigation of automated traffic law enforcement systems, including red light cameras.

According to federal officials, Jones agreed to limit such research to systems used in Chicago in exchange for benefits offered by SafeSpeed ​​partner Omar Mahni, and that SafeSpeed ​​would provide services. It agreed to “exclude from the study” “many other municipal” systems that provide

Jones also told Magni that he would defend Safespeed from legislation at the General Assembly in exchange for $5,000 and a job with an unnamed associate. Allegedly lied to the FBI about his role.

That was the same day that agents raided Sandoval’s home and the state capitol.

Maani is billed separately. In 2020, he signed a so-called deferred prosecution agreement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to confirm his cooperation with prosecutors.

By: Tina Sfondeles State Senator Emil Jones III pleads not guilty to federal bribery charges

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