* Stay tuned for more…
*** UPDATE *** The indictment is here.
…Adding… From the US Attorney’s office…
A sales agent for a Chicago-area red-light camera company has been indicted for allegedly conspiring to pay bribes to obtain approval to install additional cameras in suburban Oak Lawn.
PATRICK J. DOHERTY, 64, of Palos Heights, is charged with one count of conspiracy to use an interstate facility to facilitate bribery, and two counts of using an interstate facility to facilitate bribery. The indictment was returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. An arraignment date has not yet been scheduled.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Stetler, Tiffany A. Ardam and James P. Durkin.
According to the indictment, Doherty worked as a sales agent for the red-light camera company that since 2014 had a contract with Oak Lawn to provide cameras at certain intersections. Renewal of the contract and installation of cameras at additional intersections required approval from Oak Lawn’s Board of Trustees, the indictment states.
The charges allege that in 2017 Doherty conspired with an individual with a financial interest in the red-light camera company and another sales agent of the company to pay money to a relative of an elected Oak Lawn Trustee to influence the Trustee into using his official position to approve installation of cameras at additional intersections. The conspirators agreed to pay the relative a total of approximately $4,000 over an eight-week period, the indictment states. In order to conceal the purpose of the payments, the conspirators agreed that Doherty would make the payments from a separate company, the indictment states.
In a telephone conversation on May 25, 2017, Doherty told the other sales agent that Doherty would pay the Trustee’s relative “if it’s going to get us the job,” according to the indictment. Doherty allegedly added, “I’ll just pay it. Just make sure we get the, make sure we get the [expletive] thing, the contract.”
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Each count in the indictment is punishable by up to five years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
…Adding… A bit of history from the Sun-Times…
In an interview last fall with the Chicago Sun-Times, Doherty said he had been interviewed by FBI and IRS agents at his home. He also insisted the interview was not about SafeSpeed.
Rather, Doherty said, agents asked about another company run by SafeSpeed investor Omar Maani — who is believed to be cooperating with federal authorities — that has been involved in low-income housing projects in Cicero and Summit. The projects involved the construction of dozens of townhomes and received taxpayer subsidies through county government, Doherty said.
Doherty and Tobolski were involved in getting Maani’s firm that funding, apparently without competitive bidding.