- Associated Press - Friday, August 7, 2020

CHICAGO (AP) - The mayor of a suburban Chicago village is facing federal bribery charges in connection with a politically connected red-light camera firm, according to an indictment unveiled Friday.

Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta is also charged with filing false tax returns and lying to the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. Prosecutors say Presta, 69, sought and received benefits from the red-light camera company SafeSpeed while the company sought to expand its services in Crestwood.

Presta was interviewed last year as authorities were investigating former state Sen. Martin Sandoval, who pleaded guilty in January to corruption charges related to SafeSpeed. Investigators say during the interview, Presta asserted he never received anything from SafeSpeed, according to court records. When shown a recording of a March 7, 2018, meeting at which the feds say he accepted an envelope containing $5,000 cash, Presta allegedly said there was no money in the envelope.

Telephone calls to Presta, who was elected mayor in 2013, weren’t immediately returned.

SafeSpeed has denied any wrongdoing, pointing to the work of a rogue partner for any misdeeds.

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