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Ex-Mayor of Oakbrook Terrace pleads guilty in red-light camera scandal

It's the latest conviction related to how SafeSpeed LLC dealt with some Chicago-area communities that installed cameras to record traffic violations.

Former police officer and former Mayor of Oakbrook Terrace, Tony Ragucci, pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks from employees of SafeSpeed LLC in the use of red-light cameras. | Photo: City of Oakbrook Terrace

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.

Oakbrook Terrace’s red-light cameras produced nearly $17 million in revenue from 2017 to April 2021, the Chicago Tribune reported.[1]

Ragucci had defended the cameras as a way to encourage safe driving.

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Notes & References


  1. 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. ↩︎

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