Press conference

For immediate release

Raul Montes, Jr.

Political firestorm over former mayor of Oakbrook Terrace and other politicians in the past charged in red-light camera scandal; want red-light and speed cameras banned throughout the City of Chicago, Suburbs, Cook County and State of Illinois to stop road robbery and corruption!

What: Press conference and protest

When: Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Where: 22nd street and Kingery Road
Oak Brook IL 60181
(Northeast corner) red-light camera location

Time: 11:45 a.m.

Oakbrook, IL- A former police officer turned to be the mayor of OakBrook, IL and is the recent suburban politician to be indicted on corruption charges as he accepted cash to allow red-light cameras to find into his town.

Two years after resigning from office amid revelations of the federal investigation, Anthony “Tony” Ragucci was charged with wire and tax fraud in a case made public this past Monday. Prosecutors accused Ragucci of accepting thousand of dollars after the state in 2017 let his suburb, Oakbrook Terrace, put red-light cameras at a busy, but arguably safe corner outside a west suburban mall.

According to federal prosecutors he was part of the scheme in which the really camera firm paid 14% commission and revenue generated on the cameras one of the firm and it hired as a sales consultant to get village business that consulting firm’s officials then paid a portion of the commission to Ragucci, first $3,500 a month, then an amount based on how much cash the cameras generated, prosecutors alleged. He also accepted $12,500 cash from an official of the red-light camera firm as contracts were renewed, unaware that the official was secretly working with federal investigators on a wide-ranging corruption probe, prosecutors alleged.

Oak Brook officials fought the cameras, saying the corner didn’t need them, and the Illinois Department of Transportation had the final call because the cameras would be put on a state route. IDOT had previously deemed the corner too safe for cameras, then there were even fewer crashes, yet somehow IDOT reversed course to allow the cameras. The reversal came after several politicians intervened on SafeSpeeds, LLC behalf’. The charges against Ragucci came the same month that federal prosecutors pushed for a two year sentence for former Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta, who admitted to taking a cash-stuffed envelope from Maani in exchange for Presta’s support of lucrative SafeSpeed cameras.

The City of Chicago issued more than 2.8 million worth of speeding tickets last year according to the Illinois policy Institute that’s more tickets than there are residents in the City of Chicago. Speeding tickets also brought $89 million in fines. Community activist Raul Montes, Jr. states the following “these red light and speed cameras are installed not so much for safety tools but to generate revenue and is blatant road robbery and ruining people’s lives.”

On Wednesday morning, community activists will stage a press conference with placards demanding that red light and speed cameras be abolished in the City of Chicago, suburbs, Cook County and throughout the State of Illinois with efforts to stop corruption and road robbery.