Chicago state senator indicted in red-light camera scandal

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CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago state senator was indicted Tuesday on federal charges that he sought 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, also was charged with lying to the FBI, prosecutors said.

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

“As new developments in federal investigations come to light, SafeSpeed remains both shocked and saddened that one of its former colleagues was engaged in criminal conduct,” the company said.

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

Jones, the deputy majority leader in the Illinois Senate, has not responded to a request for comment left with his Chicago office. His father, former state Senate President Emil Jones Jr., issued a statement saying “the charges brought against my son, Emil Jones III, do not reflect the man he is. Everyone knows he is an honest, hardworking legislator.”