Cook County Commissioner’s Staff Chief, Also a Sales Agent for Chicago-Area Red-Light Camera Company, Indicted in Bribery Conspiracy in Oak Lawn, Illinois

Patrick J. Doherty, a sales agent for a Chicago-area red-light camera company, has been indicted for allegedly conspiring to pay bribes to obtain approval to install additional cameras in suburban Oak Lawn.

Patrick Doherty has also worked as Chief of Staff or Aide to the Commissioner in the Cook County Sixteenth District. The Cook County Board Commissioner of the 16th District is Jeffrey R. Tobolski. According to the Better Government Association Illinois Public Salaries Database, Patrick Doherty earned $105,763 in 2017 as an Aide to the Commissioner in the Sixteenth District, earning more than 100% of employees in the Sixteenth District. As of 2017, Doherty held the position since December 6, 2010. The Sixteenth District includes an area of southwest suburbs near LaGrange, McCook, Berwyn, Stickney, Summit, and Forest View; north of Oak Lawn, which is in District 11 with John P. Daley, Commissioner (son of Richard J. Daley).

Patrick J. Doherty, 64, of Palos Heights, is charged with one count of conspiracy to use an interstate facility to facilitate bribery, and two counts of using an interstate facility to facilitate bribery. The indictment was returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. An arraignment date has not yet been scheduled.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Stetler, Tiffany A. Ardam and James P. Durkin.

According to the indictment, Doherty worked as a sales agent for the red-light camera company that since 2014 had a contract with Oak Lawn to provide cameras at certain intersections. Renewal of the contract and installation of cameras at additional intersections required approval from Oak Lawn’s Board of Trustees, the indictment states.

The charges allege that in 2017 Doherty conspired with an individual with a financial interest in the red-light camera company and another sales agent of the company to pay money to a relative of an elected Oak Lawn Trustee to influence the Trustee into using his official position to approve installation of cameras at additional intersections. The conspirators agreed to pay the relative a total of approximately $4,000 over an eight-week period, the indictment states. In order to conceal the purpose of the payments, the conspirators agreed that Doherty would make the payments from a separate company, the indictment states.

In a telephone conversation on May 25, 2017, Doherty told the other sales agent that Doherty would pay the Trustee’s relative “if it’s going to get us the job,” according to the indictment. Doherty allegedly added, “I’ll just pay it. Just make sure we get the, make sure we get the [expletive] thing, the contract.”

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

— The United State Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois

Each count in the indictment is punishable by up to five years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.



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