Chicago lawmaker pleads guilty in red-light camera scandal

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago state senator pleaded not guilty Friday allegations of lying to the FBI and seeking bribes to oppose legislation this would require a statewide evaluation of red light camera systems.

Senator Emil Jones III, the latest government official involved in a bribery schememade the plea by phone before U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood.

“I plead not guilty, your honor,” he said in a calm voice.

Jones is being held on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Governor J. Pritzker on Thursday called on Jones to vacate his seat, a day after Jones stepped down from his unpaid $11,098-a-year position as Senate Democratic deputy leader and committee chairman at the request of Senate President Don Harmon.

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Jones is running unopposed in the Nov. 8 general election.

Prosecutors allege Jones, a South Side Democrat, told a stakeholder in the operator of the SafeSpeed ​​camera system that he would defend her against legislation in the General Assembly in exchange for $5,000 and work for an unnamed employee.

Prosecutors did not name the company behind the red-light camera, but SafeSpeed ​​released a statement Tuesday indicating that a former employee was involved.

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

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