OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. (AP) — A former suburban Chicago mayor pleaded guilty Monday to taking kickbacks to support the use of red-light cameras in his community.
Tony Ragucci, who resigned in 2020, admitted to getting $88,000 when he was leading Oakbrook Terrace. He pleaded guilty to fraud and tax crimes.
It's the latest conviction related to how SafeSpeed LLC dealt with some Chicago-area communities that installed cameras to record traffic violations.
SafeSpeed said it didn't authorize payoffs and that any kickbacks were part of a scheme by people who are no longer associated with the company.
In April, Louis Presta, who was mayor of Crestwood, was sentenced to a year in prison for accepting $5,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Durkin said Ragucci is cooperating with investigators, assistance that could help him when he gets a sentence. He was a police officer before being elected mayor in 2009.
Ragucci had defended the cameras as a way to encourage safe driving.
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Notes & References
Meisner, Jason. “Ex-Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Tony Ragucci Admits to Taking $88,000 in Red Light Camera Scheme; Alleged Co-Conspirators Plead Not Guilty.” Chicago Tribune, May 23, 2022. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/criminal-justice/ct-oakbrook-terrace-mayor-tony-ragucci-guilty-plea-red-light-camera-fraud-20220523-gcryjowjyrhodijzfaxq6k25zu-story.html. ↩︎