By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD – More information’s coming out about why the feds may be interested in Sen Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago). The full search warrant from last month’s raids on his home and offices points to Big Energy, red light camera companies, gambling interests, as well as road builders.
Sandoval, as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, was an architect of the state’s infrastructure plan, a key accomplishment of Gov. JB Pritzker’s first year in office.
Sandoval Friday resigned as chair of the committee, though he remains a member.
Kent Redfield, a political science professor at UIS, says besides the scale and scope of what could be involved, the surprise is it seems to go well beyond the state’s $45 billion public works bill.
“There certainly seem to be a lot of people involved, at least in terms of people they want to talk to, but now we have opened up a couple of related areas,” said Redfield. “One of them is gambling, and one assumes that getting in on the ground floor is a way to make a lot of money. And then, we also have the continuing issue of red light cameras, and apparently there is a lot of money to be made by having contracts with municipalities, which see this as a way to generate revenue.
“It certainly paints a very broad picture of potential corruption in terms of what I would think of as, in layman’s terms, bribery and extortion.”
Dave Dahl can be reached at News@WJBC.com.