Former Chicago-area mayor released from prison early due to failing health

Lawyers say the suburban Chicago mayor's already poor health had declined rapidly since reporting to prison

A former suburban Chicago mayor in failing health is set to be released from federal prison just three months into a one-year sentence for taking $5,000 to help a red-light camera company.

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin on Thursday ordered former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta's release from Federal Medical Center-Kentucky in Lexington. A petition from Presta's lawyers said his already poor health had declined rapidly since reporting to prison in late June.

Presta’s lawyers filed a motion asking Durkin to order his release due to what they described as grave health concerns, including heart disease, vertigo, high blood pressure and diabetes.

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Presta, who is in his early 70s, will be under home confinement supervised by federal probation officers for the remainder of his sentence and must repay $70,000 in restitution.

A former Chicago-area mayor whose health has been declining has been released from prison nine months early.

A former Chicago-area mayor whose health has been declining has been released from prison nine months early.

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Presta resigned as Crestwood’s mayor in November when he pleaded guilty to felony counts of official misconduct and other crimes.

According to his plea agreement, Presta took the money in exchange for helping the company, SafeSpeed LLC, put more cameras in the southwest suburb as well as increase revenues from existing cameras by approving more violations.

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Omar Maani was an executive at SafeSpeed. He was cooperating with the FBI, and the exchange of cash was recorded on a camera.