Charged legislator Emil Jones III resigns leadership posts, but not Senate seat

Illinois state Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, speaks to members of the media in Springfield in January of 2020.

Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP file

Federal bribery charges have quickly proven enough to force state Sen. Emil Jones III out of his committee and party leadership positions — but not out of his legislative seat. 

The walls closed in a bit further on Jones Wednesday as the freshly charged Far South Side state senator gave up his committee chair and vice chair posts, plus his position as a deputy Democratic majority leader, at the request of Senate President Don Harmon. 

A day after federal prosecutors accused Jones of taking $5,000 to protect a politically connected red-light camera company from unfavorable legislation, Harmon “asked for and received” the senator’s resignation as chair of the Senate Licensed Activities Committee, according to a letter Harmon filed with the secretary of the Senate. 

That position came along with a $11,098 annual stipend for Jones on top of his annual salary, which amounted to $80,700 last year before taxes, according to the state comptroller’s office. 


State Sen. Emil Jones III hit with federal bribery charges tied to red-light camera investigation

Jones also agreed to step down from his positions as vice chair of the Public Safety Committee — which handles red-light camera business — and Senate deputy majority leader. Those titles were unpaid. 

Despite Republican calls to relinquish his Senate seat altogether, Jones has given no indication he’s going anywhere. Messages left at his offices in the Roseland neighborhood and in Springfield went unanswered. 

The indicted senator’s father, former state Senate President Emil Jones Jr., issued a statement Tuesday asserting the charges against his son “do not reflect the man he is,” with the retired leader vowing “to fight with him and stand alongside him throughout this process.”

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said in a statement Wednesday that Jones III “should absolutely resign. How is the public supposed to trust its government when the Democrats who control the laws repeatedly break them?”

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times


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