After the unfavorable Chicago Tribune headline appeared online last night, Governor JB Pritzker issued the following about his Democratic Party colleagues via email:
Statement from Gov. Pritzker
CHICAGO —Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement in response to misconduct allegations against two legislators.
“Integrity is essential to public service, and corruption for personal gain and abuse in private or public is unacceptable.
“Illinoisans deserve to have elected leaders who are focused on representing them – not on holding office when facing serious and credible charges.
“Sen Jones is accused of accepting bribes.
“And Senator Hastings is accused of abusing women.
“They should answer the charges and have their day in court.
“But in the best interests of their constituents, these men must resign from their offices.
“Resigning only their leadership roles falls short of what the public should expect.
“I want to send a clear message to the people of Illinois: corruption and abuse haveno place here.”
From the Chicago Tribune:
“Jones is the ninth sitting or recent member of the General Assembly to be charged with federal crimes since Pritzker took office in January 2019, all but one of them Democrats. That list includes five of Jones’ former Senate colleagues — Democrats Martin Sandoval, Thomas Cullerton, Terry Link and Annazette Collins and Republican Sam McCann — along with Madigan and former Democratic state Reps. Luis Arroyo and Eddie Acevedo.”
From the U.S. Attorney:
The Illinois Department of Transportation (”IDOT”) approved the installation and operation of red-light cameras within the State. In or around February 2079, JONES introduced a bill, namely, Senate Bill 1297, that would require IDOT to conduct a statewide study of automated traffic law enforcement systems, which included red-light cameras. Senate BIII1297 would require IDOT to report on the overall operation, usage, and regulation of automated traffic enforcement systems, and to propose any recommendations IDOT deemed necessary concerning such systems.
In or around 20L9, JONES agreed that, in exchange for benefits provided by Individual A to JONES and Individual B, JONES would oppose legislation that required the study of automated traffic enforcement systems located outside of Chicago, and would limit any legislation regarding IDOT’s study of and recommendations concerning automated traffic law enforcement systems to those automated traffic enforcement systems utilized in Chicago, thereby excluding from study and recommendations automated traffic enforcement systems utilized in numerous other muncipalties that Company A served.
Beginning in or around April 2019, and continuing until in or around September 2019, at Chicago, in the Northern District of lllinois, Eastern Division, and elsewhere, EMIL JONES, III, defendant herein, as an agent of the State of Illinois, corruptly solicited, agreed to accept, and accepted things of value from Individual A, namely a $5,000 payment and money for Individual B, 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, legislation in the Illinois General Assembly concerning the operation of red-light cameras; […]
On or about JuIy 17, 2019, JONES told Individual A that he would protect Company A and Individual A from legislation in the Illinois General Assembly concerning the operation of red-light cameras in exchange for $5,000 for JONES and a job for Individual B.
On or about August 8, 2019, JONES told Individual A that if Individual A contributed $5,000 by sponsoring an event, JONES and Individual A would not have to report that contribution on Illinois campaign contribution reports.
On or about August 12, 2019, JONES and Individual A discussed how much money Individual A would pay Individual B.
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The Tribune notes: