Illinois Democrat facing federal bribery charges tied to red light cameras

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An Illinois state senator is facing federal bribery charges involving an alleged red-light camera scheme. 

Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, is accused of asking for a bribe from “Company A,” a Chicago-area entity that provided automated traffic enforcement systems, commonly known as “red-light cameras.” These cameras enabled municipalities to enforce traffic violations and issue traffic-violation tickets. 

State Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, in an interview with FOX 32. 

State Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, in an interview with FOX 32. 
(WFLD)

In early 2019, Jones introduced Senate Bill 1297, which would require the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to conduct a statewide study of automated traffic law enforcement systems, which included red-light cameras. 

Later that year, Jones offered to protect one specific red-light camera from the legislation in exchange for a bribe, according to court filings made public Tuesday. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to Jones for comment.

The U.S. Attorney’s office did not name “Company A,” but multiple outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, reported the company as being SafeSpeed LLC. 

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The company issued a statement later Tuesday indicating one of its former associates was “engaged in criminal conduct and recruited outside individuals to help further his self-serving activities.”

“Their actions were clearly in their own self-interest and done without SafeSpeed’s knowledge and undercut the important work SafeSpeed does,” the company said. 

“SafeSpeed built its business on integrity and ethics, and it holds its employees and representatives to the highest standards of conduct and ethics. SafeSpeed has long since terminated all contact with its former colleague and his associates,” the company said. 

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It added: “SafeSpeed remains committed to continuing to assist Illinois municipalities in improving traffic safety. SafeSpeed fully supports the federal government’s investigation into public corruption and will continue to aid their efforts in any way it can.”

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