Chicago Area Red-Light Camera Company Rep Sentenced to Five Years

By James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

March 4, 2023

CHICAGO – A salesman for an unnamed Chicago-area red-light camera company 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.

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, John R. Lausch, Jr., announced that Patrick J. Doherty, 67, of Palos Heights, has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison.  Lausch revealed that in July of 2022 Doherty pleaded guilty to one count of corruptly offering something of value to influence and reward a public official and one count of filing a false tax return.  Earlier this week, Doherty was sentenced to 64 months’ imprisonment on the bribery charge, and 34 months on the false tax return charge.  Both sentences will be run concurrently.

According to the plea agreement, Doherty offered and agreed to give things of value, namely money, with the intent to influence an unnamed State Senator.  Allegedly, as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, the unnamed State Senator was in a position to assist the unnamed red light camera company by opposing legislation adverse to the interests of the red-light-camera industry and obtaining Illinois Department of Transportation approvals for the unnamed company’s red-light cameras.  

In the plea agreement Doherty admitted to other acts of bribery, including acts that involved abusing his position as Chief of Staff for an unnamed Cook County Commissioner, in efforts to benefit individuals who paid money to Doherty and his associates.  It is alleged that Doherty participated in corrupt activities that involved offering and obtaining bribes totaling approximately $148,000.

In 2016, it is alleged that Doherty knowingly caused an accountant to file a false tax return.  According to the government, 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.  In addition, Doherty acknowledged that his tax returns 2012 through 2015 and 2017 through 2018 under-reported his income, and thereby caused additional losses to the IRS of at least $58,430; and the Illinois Department of Revenue of at least $6,512.