State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty to federal bribery charges

Illinois state Sen. Emil Jones III pled not guilty at his arraignment Friday on federal bribery charges. 

Jones, son of former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr., is also charged with lying to the FBI.

The charges against the younger Jones point to a Senate bill filed in February 2019 requiring a statewide study of automated traffic law enforcement systems, including red-light cameras.

The feds say Jones agreed that, in exchange for benefits from an individual with an interest in SafeSpeed, he would work to limit such studies to systems used in Chicago, "thereby excluding from study and recommendations automated traffic enforcement systems utilized in numerous other municipalities" served by SafeSpeed.

Jones also allegedly told the individual with an interest in SafeSpeed that he would protect it from legislation in the General Assembly in exchange for $5,000 and a job for an unnamed associate.


The state senator allegedly lied to the FBI about his role in the scheme on Sept. 24, 2019.

On Thursday, Jones resigned as chair of the Senate Licensed Activities Committee, but has not resigned from his legislative seat.

Gov. Pritzker has called for his resignation. 

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.