“Balls to the Wall” Red Light Camera Protection Racket in State Senate Admitted

Read the pertinent parts of the plea agreement for former State Senator Martin Sandoval, who chaired the Senate Transportation Committee whose legislation doubled state Motor Fuel Taxes (quotes are in boldface type):

Beginning in or around 2016, and continuing until in or around September
2019, at Chicago, in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and elsewhere, MARTIN A. SANDOVAL, as an agent of the State of Illinois, namely, a State Senator and Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, which received in excess of $10,000 in federal benefits during the period from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, corruptly

  • solicited
  • demanded
  • agreed to accept, and
  • accepted things of value,

namely, money, intending to be influenced and rewarded in connection with a business, transaction, and series of transactions of the State of Illinois involving a thing of value of $5,000 or more, namely, continued support for the operation of red- light cameras in the State of Illinois, including opposing legislation adverse to the interests of the red-light-camera industry…

Specifically, SANDOVAL was an elected Illinois State Senator and the
Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee…

Company A was a Chicago-area company that provided red-light cameras that enabled municipalities to enforce certain traffic violations and issue traffic-violation tickets.

Company A obtained a portion of the proceeds generated from the approved-and-paid-for violations.

The Illinois Senate Transportation Committee was responsible for considering proposed legislation concerning the regulation of red-light camer

The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) had to approve the installation and operation of red-light cameras within the state…

Beginning in or around 2016 and continuing until in or around 2019, SANDOVAL solicited, agreed to accept, and accepted financial and other benefits from someone who had an interest in Company A (“CW-1”), in return for using SANDOVAL’s official position as an Illinois State Senator and Chairman of the Transportation Committee

…agreed..to block legislation harmful to the red-light-camera industry and to advise and influence IDOT to allow Company A to install and operate red-light cameras at additional intersections.

Unbeknownst to SANDOVAL, C[ooperating]W[itness]-1 began cooperating with law enforcement in or around 2018.

In or around 2016, SANDOVAL asked CW-1 for $20,000 in annual campaign
contributions in return for SANDOVAL’s official support for Company A and its business interests.

CW-1 agreed, and Company A subsequently made the contributions from Company A and other entities to conceal the fact that Company A was making the contributions to SANDOVAL.

On or about August 16, 2017, SANDOVAL spoke by phone with CW-1.

During the call, SANDOVAL discussed splitting up Company A’s annual campaign contribution to SANDOVAL into smaller amounts

CW-1 told SANDOVAL that CW-1 had provided half of Company A’s annual campaign contribution, and SANDOVAL said it was not a problem for Company A’s President to break up the annual contribution into two contributions because CW-1 said Company A’s President did not want the contribution to “shout out,” meaning raise a red flag.

SANDOVAL said, “I can see if I can … find out from anyone when the next reporting period, and we will do it right, right after that. Kind of, just kind of not make it obvious.”

Following publicity regarding SANDOVAL’s relationship with Company A, SANDOVAL tore up the check provided by CW-1, arranged for an entity unrelated to Company A to make a $10,000 contribution to a campaign associated with SANDOVAL, and agreed to explore other ways for Company A to make its annual campaign contribution.

On or about March 19, 2018, SANDOVAL spoke by phone with CW-1.

During the call, SANDOVAL agreed to accept $10,000 in cash to be used for campaign-related expenses and agreed to block legislation harmful to the red-light-camera industry.

Specifically, CW-1 said that CW-1 had spoken with Individual A, a Company A sales agent, who said that CW-1 could provide SANDOVAL with cash to be used to pay for campaign expenses.

SANDOVAL responded, “Yeah,” and said he would have someone he worked with (“Co-Schemer A”) coordinate with CW-1 to obtain the cash.

CW-1 agreed, referred to state legislation that would ban red-light cameras, and asked for SANDOVAL to provide assurance that CW-1 should not worry about that legislation.

SANDOVAL assured CW-1 that CW-1 should not worry about the
legislation and said, “I’ll have [Co-Schemer A] call ya.”

SANDOVAL subsequently arranged for Co-Schemer A to collect $10,000 in cash from CW-1 later that day.

In or around July 2018, SANDOVAL solicited $5,000 per month for using his
position in the Illinois Senate to protect Company A’s interests.

Specifically, on or about July 31, 2018, SANDOVAL met with CW-1 at a restaurant in Burr Ridge, Illinois.

During the meeting, SANDOVAL discussed receiving payment for his official
support of Company A. SANDOVAL asked, “Can I bring up something personal with you?… You’ve been good to me, politically. But I’ve learned that there are people who helped [Company A] who get a monthly, um…”

CW-1 interjected, “Consulting fee, sales-consulting fee.”

SANDOVAL continued, “When they have helped with the sighting of a camera…. On a monthly basis, infinitum.”

CW-1 responded, “100%. They get a percentage of the revenue that is brought in by specific community.”

SANDOVAL said, “Like I did in Oakbrook [Terrace].”

CW-1 agreed.

SANDOVAL asked, “So why don’t I get that offer?”

CW-1 discussed the possibility of paying SANDOVAL, who said, “It galls me to know, but because we’ve established such a great relationship, um, ’cause you know I’ll go balls to the walls for anything you ask me…. It’s hard for me to swallow how [people] make so much off of you. Right? And I gotta do the work.”

SANDOVAL acknowledges that he sought to receive cash payments from CW-1 in return for SANDOVAL’s official acts benefitting CW-1 and Company A and made these statements for this purpose. Later,

CW-1 and SANDOVAL discussed how SANDOVAL had been a friend of the red-light-camera industry and had used his position as Chairman of the Transportation Committee to ensure that bills harmful to the red-light-camera industry were not passed.

Later during the conversation, SANDOVAL discussed being paid to act as
Company A’s “protector” in the Illinois Senate

When discussing the amount of the payment he would receive, Sandoval said, “I usually say, ‘What’s reasonable? You tell me.’”

CW-1 said that CW-1 did not know how to value SANDOVAL’s support for
Company A, and SANDOVAL said, “I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I’m telling you the vultures would be all over that shit [red-light cameras] if you had the wrong person there.”

SANDOVAL said, “I think the protector aspect, it never changes. If
there’s a … bill or something like that, if you set a fee, a protector fee, unless there’s something really fucking extraordinary.

CW-1 asked how much SANDOVAL wanted to be paid in protection money for acting to advance Company A’s interests in the Illinois Senate, and SANDOVAL asked, “But how would we do that? So how many companies do you have?… Do you have a bologna company or something innocuous?”

CW-1 and SANDOVAL discussed ways to make the payment, and CW-
1 asked SANDOVAL to provide the amount of the payment. SANDOVAL said, “I can’t say. It would have to come from you. That’s just not my style.”

CW-1 asked, “[J]ust off the top of your head, what pops into your head?”

SANDOVAL responded, “Five,” meaning $5,000.

CW-1 asked, “Five a month?”

SANDOVAL responded, “Yeah.”

CW-1 agreed to pay SANDOVAL $5,000 per month.

On or about August 29, 2018, SANDOVAL met with CW-1 at a restaurant in
Burr Ridge.

During the meeting, SANDOVAL accepted from CW-1 $15,000 in cash,
which constituted protection money for acting to advance Company A’s interests in the Illinois Senate.

By September 2019, SANDOVAL had accepted a total of approximately $70,000 in protection money from CW-1.

SANDOVAL also engaged in corrupt activities with other public officials and
accepted money from other people in return for using his position as an Illinois State Senator to attempt to benefit those people and their business interests.

In total, SANDOVAL accepted over $250,000 in bribes as part of criminal activity that involved more than five participants.

In doing so, SANDOVAL directed other criminally responsible individuals, including Co-Schemer A and Individual A.


Comments

“Balls to the Wall” Red Light Camera Protection Racket in State Senate Admitted — 5 Comments

  1. This guy deserves at least what Blago got, and Blago never got a dime…

    14 years, even after you give up Madigan and every other dirty corrupt chump like you Senor Sandoval.

    Wow, what a chump, was going to get a great Public Pension with Benefits and throws his life away for some pretty small time greed.

    5 a month huh?

    This jerkwad helped kill Red Light Camera bill that could have done away with them, all for money for him.

    Guaranteed his entire Political time is filthy and corrupt.

    Look into every Bill he was ever involved in…

    the only “balls to the walls” gonna be yours in Prison.

    Not only are you a thief, but you’ll also be a rat by the time you get to Prison.

  2. He was thrown to the wolves so the bigger fish could swim by.

  3. Fatty Sandoval isn’t even on the list of the top 100 crooked Illinois Politicians.

    He’s 456th!

    Bobby Rush 212.

    Jack Franks 98

    Burke 19

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