Former Crestwood mayor gets early prison release

Louis Presta, 72, served three months of a one-year sentence for taking a bribe in an 2017 FBI sting.

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Former Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta walks with his attorneys into the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, Monday morning, April 25, 2022.

Former Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta walks with his attorneys into the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in April.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

Just three months into a one-year sentence for taking bribes, former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta is set to be released from federal prison in Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin on Thursday ordered the 72-year-old’s release from Federal Medical Center-Kentucky in Lexington. A petition from Presta’s lawyers said his already poor health had declined rapidly since reporting to prison in late June.

Presta will be under home confinement supervised by the federal probation office for the remainder of his sentence and will have to pay $70,000 in restitution.

Presta pleaded guilty in November to bribery and filing a false tax return after he was caught on camera accepting a $5,000 bribe from a red-light camera executive in a wide-ranging FBI sting operation targeting numerous public officials in the south suburbs.

In court filings, Presta’s lawyers said he suffered from Type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure and chronic kidney disease and spent three days of his first week in custody in the emergency room.

The day after his ER stay in July, Presta was taken to an area hospital for treatment for dehydration and began using a wheelchair.

Prison officials in August denied a request for compassionate release filed three weeks into his sentence. The prison system was not providing Presta with diabetic meals, and Presta lost 25 pounds during his first month in prison, according to the petition.

Durkin last week appointed an independent physician to review Presta’s medical records.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney John Lausch declined comment on the order.

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