Cook County official indicted in FBI corruption probe

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COOK COUNTY, Ill. — A high-ranking Cook County political operative was indicted as part of a long-running FBI corruption investigation.

A three-count indictment was made public Friday and alleged bribes were offered to get red light cameras set up in the Chicago suburbs.

Long-time Cook County official Patrick Doherty of Palos Heights was charged with bribery and attempted bribery, allegedly as part of an effort to get the lucrative red light cameras installed in Oak Lawn.

The 64-year-old is the chief of staff to Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski, who also serves as mayor of McCook. He has also garnered some of his own unwanted attention for nepotism and had, at one point, at least seven relatives on his suburb’s payroll.

According to federal officials, Doherty also worked as a sales agent for a red light camera company called Safespeed, Incorporated. Safespeed has a contract to operate the cameras in Oak Lawn.

He is accused of offering to pay bribes to a relative of an Oak Lawn trustee and that in 2017, Doherty can be heard saying on a recorded phone call that he’d pay in $500 installments over eight weeks,

“If it’s going to get us the job. … I’ll just pay it. Just make sure we get the, make sure we get the [expletive] thing, the contract," he said, according to the indictment.

The charges announced Friday are believed to be part of a wider FBI probe.

Former Sen. Martin Sandoval pleaded guilty last month to bribery and tax charges in a case federal agents said involved the same red light camera company, Safespeed.

No date has been set for Doherty’s arraignment.

He faces a maximum five-year sentence on each of those three counts.


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