CHICAGO (AP) — A former suburban Chicago mayor was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison on charges that he took a $5,000 bribe from a red-light camera company executive.

Louis Presta, 72, resigned as Crestwood’s mayor in November when he pleaded guilty to felony counts of official misconduct, using in interstate commerce in aid of bribery and filing a false income tax return.[1]

According to his plea agreement, Presta took the money in exchange for helping the company, SafeSpeed LLC, put more cameras in the suburb southwest of Chicago as well as increase revenues from the cameras already there by approving more violations.

Presta, a Democrat first elected mayor in 2013, held back tears as he spoke during Monday’s court hearing, apologizing to his wife and village residents.

“I’m so sorry for bringing this scandal to the village of Crestwood,” he said. “I never thought that I’d be a criminal defendant.”

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin said Presta’s corruption did real damage to Crestwood, but acknowledged he lessened Presta’s sentence because of several letters of support written on Presta’s behalf, as well as Presta’s ailing health.

The former SafeSpeed executive, Omar Maani, entered into a deferred-prosecution deal, agreeing to cooperate with federal investigators.

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Notes & References

  1. Press, Associated. “Guilty Plea Likely from Crestwood Mayor in Red-Light Camera Corruption Probe.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, September 9, 2021. ↩︎