Illinois ex-lawmaker charged with bribery in red-light camera program

A former Illinois state senator was charged Monday with accepting payments in exchange for supporting costly red-light camera programs across the state, according to reports.

The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago filed bribery and tax charges against state Sen. Martin Sandoval, who had represented the 11th District since 2003.

Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield. Sandoval was charged in federal court Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. 

Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield. Sandoval was charged in federal court Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.  (The State Journal-Register via AP)

The 56-year-old Chicago Democrat "corruptly solicited, demanded, agreed to accept and accepted" payments for "continued support for the operation of red-light cameras in the State of Illinois," the document says.

The alleged bribery occurred between 2016 and 2019, when, as chair of the transportation committee, Sandoval wielded enormous influence in how state transportation funds were spent.

Sandoval's attorney, Dylan Smith, did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.

Agents raided Sandoval's office in Springfield, his office in Chicago and his home on Sept. 24 amid still-active federal investigations of public corruption that have ensnared multiple Democrats.

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Sandoval also was charged with a count of filing a false tax return. It accuses him of misstating his income in a 2017 return when he indicated he made around $125,000.

After it became clear in the fall that Sandoval was an investigative target, he announced his resignation, effective Jan. 1.

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Sandoval was a driving force behind an increase in the gas tax to help fund Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker's $45 billion capital construction plan to rebuild roads, bridges and schools.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.