State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty to federal bribery charges

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty Friday to federal bribery expenses just after he was accused of agreeing to shield the politically related pink-gentle camera corporation SafeSpeed LLC in the Illinois Standard Assembly.

The listening to prior to U.S. District Decide Andrea Wood took place by cellphone, making Jones the most up-to-date federally charged Illinois politician to stay clear of the classic stroll-of-disgrace through the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Remote hearings turned schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prosecutors filed the costs against the South Aspect Democrat in a document recognized as an info, which ordinarily indicators a defendant’s plan to plead guilty. There were being no indications that Jones would plead guilty Friday, though.

Nevertheless, Jones on Friday waived his constitutional appropriate to be indicted by a grand jury —another indicator of an eventual guilty plea.

Soon after the costs grew to become public Tuesday, Jones resigned as chair of the Senate Licensed Things to do Committee. He has so considerably ignored a get in touch with from Gov. J.B. Pritzker to resign from the Senate completely.

Jones is running unopposed for reelection in November.

But he is now the latest politician to confront expenses related to SafeSpeed. The list incorporates the late ex-state Sen. Martin Sandoval, former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta, former Worthy of Township Supervisor John O’Sullivan and previous Oakbrook Terrace Mayor Tony Ragucci.

Jones is also among at the very least 11 current and previous users of the Illinois Typical Assembly charged with federal crimes because 2019.

SafeSpeed has not been charged with wrongdoing, and it has portrayed a previous partner associated in the allegations as a rogue actor. It mentioned in a statement Tuesday it “remains equally shocked and saddened that a single of its previous colleagues was engaged in legal carry out.”

The expenses against Jones stage to a Senate bill filed in February 2019 requiring a statewide review of automated traffic regulation enforcement systems, which includes red-light-weight cameras.

The feds say Jones agreed that, in exchange for rewards delivered by SafeSpeed companion Omar Maani, he would perform to limit this sort of experiments to systems applied in Chicago, “thereby excluding from study” the systems “in many other municipalities” served by SafeSpeed.

Jones also allegedly informed Maani he would defend SafeSpeed from legislation in the Basic Assembly in trade for $5,000 and a task for an unnamed associate. Then, the point out senator allegedly lied to the FBI about his job in the scheme on Sept. 24, 2019.

That was the very same day agents raided Sandoval’s household and state Capitol places of work.

Maani has been charged separately. In 2020, he struck a so-termed deferred prosecution settlement with the feds and confirmed his cooperation with prosecutors.

Contributing: Tina Sfondeles

Supply : offense/2022/9/23/23368265/state-senator-emil-jones-iii-arraigned-federal-bribery-prices

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