The second of three people accused of trying to pay off an Oak Lawn trustee for the benefit of a politically connected red-light camera company admitted his role in the 2017 scheme Thursday.
The move by John O’Sullivan comes not long after the feds expanded their separate case against the lone holdout, former Cook County official Patrick Doherty.
O’Sullivan, an ex-state lawmaker and former Worth Township supervisor, pleaded guilty to a bribery conspiracy during a virtual hearing Thursday before U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber.
In doing so, he also added his name to the lengthy list of individuals who have agreed to cooperate with the feds in their ongoing public corruption investigations. If he holds up his side of the deal, prosecutors are expected to ask for leniency for O’Sullivan at his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.
The feds first filed criminal charges against O’Sullivan in April. They accused him of playing a role in the scheme to pay off the Oak Lawn trustee in May 2017 as part of a bid to expand SafeSpeed LLC’s footprint in the southwest suburb.
O’Sullivan worked as a sales agent for the company, as did Doherty. Also involved in the scheme was Omar Maani, a former SafeSpeed partner.
Maani and Doherty have also been charged in separate cases. Maani struck a deferred-prosecution deal last year, admitting to the Oak Lawn scheme and agreeing to cooperate in the feds’ investigation.
Meanwhile, prosecutors filed a new indictment against Doherty last month, expanding the case against him to include schemes involving former Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski and the late state Sen. Martin Sandoval.
SafeSpeed has not been criminally charged, and it has portrayed Maani as a rogue actor.
The scheme involving O’Sullivan began when Doherty broached the idea of a payoff to the Oak Lawn trustee in a call with Maani on May 23, 2017, according to court records. He allegedly said the Oak Lawn trustee was “out of a job” and that “he’s looking for a job for his kid.”
The trustee’s son was “looking to make as much money as he can because he’s going to college, and his dad’s gonna have no money to give him because he’s outta work,” Doherty allegedly explained. The feds say Doherty also suggested paying the son $800 a week for two months.
That same day, O’Sullivan told the trustee the plan was to pay $500 a week over those two months, according to court records. Doherty allegedly told O’Sullivan he’d make the payments “if it’s going to get us the job,” adding, “I’ll just pay it. Just make sure we get the, make sure we get the f---ing thing, the contract.”
O’Sullivan also gave Doherty the son’s phone number so Doherty could offer him the job, according to O’Sullivan’s 17-page plea agreement.