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Chicago lawmaker enters plea in red-light camera scandal

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of lying to the FBI and seeking a bribe to oppose legislation that would have required a statewide evaluation of red-light camera systems.

Associated Press
Associated Press
| 2 min read
Chicago lawmaker enters plea in red-light camera scandal
Illinois State Senator Emil Jones III, from a powerful political family representing the 14th District - an area on the far south side of Chicago and encompassing some southwest suburbs - resigned from his leadership positions after he was hit with federal bribery charges in connection to the red light camera scandal involving SafeSpeed LLC that is part of a larger ongoing investigation that has swept up many of Illinois Democrats most powerful officials. | Photo: Illinois General Assembly

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago state senator pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of lying to the FBI and seeking a bribe to oppose legislation that would have required a statewide evaluation of red-light camera systems.

Sen. Emil Jones III, the latest public official implicated in the bribery scheme, entered the plea by telephone before U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood.

“I plead not guilty, your honor,” he said in a calm voice.

Jones has an unsecured bond of $10,000.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday called for Jones to resign his seat, one day after Jones stepped down from his unpaid post as deputy leader for the Senate Democrats and his $11,098-per-year committee chair position at the request of Senate President Don Harmon.

Jones is running unopposed in the Nov. 8 general election.

Prosecutors allege that Jones, a South Side Democrat, told an individual with an interest in the camera system operator SafeSpeed that he would protect it from legislation in the General Assembly in exchange for $5,000 and a job for an unnamed associate.

Prosecutors have not named the red-light camera company, but SafeSpeed issued a statement Tuesday indicating that a former associate was involved.

Neither SafeSpeed nor its current owners have been charged with any wrongdoing.


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