Representative of Chicago area red-light camera company sentenced to five years in federal prison


Date: March 3, 2023


CHICAGO — A sales agent for a Chicago-area red-light camera company, Company A, has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for conspiring to pay bribes to a public official and for filing a false tax return.

In July 2022, Patrick J. Doherty, of Palos Heights, pleaded guilty to one count of corruptly offering something of value to influence and reward a public official (Count Five), and one count of filing a false tax return (Count Eight). Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman sentenced Doherty to 64 months' imprisonment on the bribery charge, and 34 months on the false tax return charge, which sentences are to run concurrently.

According to his plea agreement, Doherty offered and agreed to give things of value, namely money, with the intent to influence State Senator A, an agent of the State of Illinois. As Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, State Senator A was in a position to assist Company A by opposing legislation adverse to the interests of the red-light-camera industry and obtaining Illinois Department of Transportation ("IDOT") approvals for Company A's red-light cameras. Doherty also admitted other acts of bribery in the plea agreement, including acts that involved abusing his position as Chief of Staff for Public Official A, a Cook County Commissioner, in efforts to benefit individuals who paid money to Doherty and his associates. In total, Doherty participated in corrupt activities that involved offering and obtaining bribes totaling approximately $148,000.

In addition, in 2016, Doherty caused an accountant to file his tax return with the Internal Revenue Service, knowing that this tax return contained false information. The false return caused losses to the IRS of at least $14,732 and losses to the Illinois Department of Revenue of at least $1,268. Doherty also acknowledged that his tax returns for tax years 2012 through 2015 and 2017 through 2018 underreported his income, and thereby caused additional losses to (1) the IRS of at least $58,430; and (2) the Illinois Department of Revenue of at least $6,512.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Justin Campbell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation in Chicago; and Robert W. Wheeler, Jr, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany A. Ardam.