Former Illinois state lawmaker faces bribery charges related to red-light cameras

Former Illinois state lawmaker faces bribery charges related to red-light cameras
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Federal prosecutors alleged in court documents on Monday that a former Illinois state lawmaker accepted bribes in exchange for supporting a red-light camera program across the state.

The Associated Press reported that the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago filed charges of bribery and tax fraud against former state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D), who resigned from his seat earlier this year amid the investigation into his activities.

Court filings allege that Sandoval, formerly a member of the Illinois State Senate Transportation Committee, accepted payments or gifts of more than $5,000 in exchange for supporting the installation of red-light cameras across the state as well as opposing legislation viewed as impeding companies that manufacture red-light cameras.

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The filing also accuses Sandoval of filing a tax return showing income around $125,000 in 2017 when the actual total "substantially exceeded that amount."

Sandoval did not respond to the AP's request for comment. He announced his intent to resign from office last year after investigators conducted raids on his home and Senate office during their probe.

“Since 2003, it has been an honor of a lifetime to serve the State of Illinois and fight on behalf of the good people of the Southwest-Side of Chicago/Suburban West Cook,” he said in November. “Respect for my constituents and the Senate has convinced me that this action is necessary in order to proceed without distraction to the important work that needs to be accomplished for working families throughout the state of Illinois in the future.”