CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval was laid to rest Saturday after he died of COVID-19.
Mourners gathered for Sandoval’s funeral services at St. Philomena Church, at 4130 W. Cortland St. in the Hermosa neighborhood.READ MORE: R. Kelly Found Guilty Of All Counts In Sex Trafficking, Racketeering Trial
Sandoval, 56, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 5.
Sandoval’s political career ended in controversy. He resigned from the Illinois Senate in January, just days before he pleaded guilty to agreeing to act as a “protector” for red light camera company SafeSpeed in exchange for thousands of dollars in bribes, and was cooperating with federal prosecutors in a sweeping corruption probe of SafeSpeed, ComEd, and others.
SafeSpeed itself has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and the company has said it had any crimes committed by anyone with an interest in the firm was done without its knowledge or authorization.
Former SafeSpeed co-owner Omar Maani has been charged with bribery, but is cooperating with federal prosecutors and wore a wire for the FBI as part of the probe.
A SafeSpeed spokesperson said the company “has acknowledged, with regret, that several individuals with past associations with the company have been named as part of ongoing federal investigations. However, we have also stated repeatedly that SafeSpeed had no knowledge of their criminal conduct, did not authorize it and does not condone it.”READ MORE: Chicago Collegiate High School Student Facing Possible Charges After Bringing Loaded Gun To School
“We have severed ties with those individuals and we applaud the government’s efforts to root out corruption,” the company said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors said Sandoval also took additional bribes in connection with “corrupt activities with other public officials” in exchange for using his position as a state senator and chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee to benefit other people and their business interests. Those other public officials were not named in the plea deal.
In total, prosecutors say Sandoval took $250,000 in bribes from crimes involving more than five people, including $70,000 in connection to his support for the red light camera industry.
Sandoval was charged with one count of bribery involving federal programs and one count of fraud and false statements. He pleaded guilty to both counts and faced a maximum of 13 years in prison, although prosecutors agreed to recommend a shorter sentence in exchange for his ongoing cooperation.
In a filing last month, prosecutors wrote Sandoval “has been fully compliant with the conditions of his release and has provided valuable cooperation that is expected to last at least several more months.”MORE NEWS: Brown Cloud In Lake Michigan Shuts Down Beaches At Indiana Dunes National Park
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