Worth Township supervisor, under federal scrutiny in red-light camera probe, resigns

John O’Sullivan, a former state legislator, Democratic committeeman and rep for SafeSpeed, told officials of his decision Friday.

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Worth Township Supervisor John O’Sullivan

Sun-Times file photo

Worth Township Supervisor John O’Sullivan, who has been under investigation for his role in the SafeSpeed red-light camera scandal, resigned from office Friday.

O’Sullivan, a former state legislator and Democratic committeeman, is under federal scrutiny because of his work as a sales consultant for SafeSpeed LLC.

SafeSpeed provides red-light cameras to numerous suburbs, including several where O’Sullivan has helped elect allies to local offices.

Late Friday afternoon, Worth Township posted a notice on its website for a special board meeting to accept O’Sullivan’s resignation and appoint a replacement.

Two township trustees who spoke Friday with O’Sullivan said he did not share the reasons for his resignation, which they said was effective immediately. The township did not make public his resignation letter.

O’Sullivan and his defense attorney, Daniel Collins, could not be reached for comment.

An employee in the supervisor’s office said she had not received O’Sullivan’s resignation Friday but advised a reporter to check back later. By mid-afternoon, however, the township’s phone line went unanswered.

Earlier this month, another SafeSpeed sales associate, Patrick Doherty, was indicted on charges of trying to bribe an Oak Lawn trustee in an effort to win business for a red-light company, identified by the Chicago Sun-Times as SafeSpeed. 

Patrick Doherty, chief of staff for Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski.

Patrick Doherty, chief of staff for Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski.

Sun-Times file photo

The indictment accuses Doherty, chief of staff to Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski, of conspiring with another unnamed sales agent and someone else with an interest in the company to pay off the Oak Lawn official.

The Sun-Times reported previously that O’Sullivan, a political associate of Doherty, lobbied Oak Lawn officials to more aggressively ticket motorists identified by SafeSpeed’s cameras as potential violators.

Doherty has explained to the Sun-Times that he was paid a “small percentage” from “every ticket that’s paid” in certain communities served by SafeSpeed.

The Chicago company, run by Nikki Zollar, released a statement Friday saying it “no longer pays or contracts with any outside sales consultants, Mr. O’Sullivan included. These individuals were not SafeSpeed employees. They were independent contractors who were only permitted to consult in connection with the sales and marketing of the company’s red-light cameras. They had no authority to bind the company in any contract and were never permitted to engage in any criminal behavior.”

The company statement added, “SafeSpeed fully supports the federal governments ongoing corruption probe.“

SafeSpeed also figures heavily into the case against former state Sen. Martin Sandoval, who has admitted taking $70,000 in “protection money” for blocking legislation that could have been harmful to the red-light camera industry.

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