State Sen. Emil Jones III set to be arraigned on federal bribery charges

Illinois State Sen. Emil Jones III

AP file

State Sen. Emil Jones III is set to be arraigned Friday on federal bribery charges after he allegedly agreed to protect the politically connected red-light camera company SafeSpeed LLC in the Illinois General Assembly. 

The hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood is set to take place by phone, meaning Jones will become the latest federally charged Illinois politician to avoid the traditional walk-of-shame through the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Remote hearings became routine amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prosecutors filed the charges against the South Side Democrat in a document known as an information, which typically signals a defendant’s plan to plead guilty. There have been no signs so far that Jones will plead guilty Friday, though. 

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After the charges became public Tuesday, Jones resigned as chair of the Senate Licensed Activities Committee. He has so far ignored a call from Gov. J.B. Pritzker to resign from the Senate entirely. 

Jones is running unopposed for reelection in November.

Still, he is now the latest politician to face charges related to SafeSpeed. The list includes the late ex-state Sen. Martin Sandoval, former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta, former Worth Township Supervisor John O’Sullivan and former Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Tony Ragucci. 

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Jones is also among at least 11 current and former members of the Illinois General Assembly charged with federal crimes since 2019. 

SafeSpeed has not been charged with wrongdoing, and it has portrayed a former partner involved in the …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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