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Former Chicago-area mayor to be released early from prison

September 29, 2022 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — A former suburban Chicago mayor in failing health is set to be released from federal prison just three months into a one-year sentence for taking $5,000 to help a red-light camera company.

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin on Thursday ordered former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta’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’s lawyers filed a motion asking Durkin to order his release due to what they described as grave health concerns, including heart disease, vertigo, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Presta, who is in his early 70s, will be under home confinement supervised by federal probation officers for the remainder of his sentence and must repay $70,000 in restitution.

Presta resigned as Crestwood’s mayor in November when he pleaded guilty to felony counts of official misconduct and other crimes.

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According to his plea agreement, Presta took the money in exchange for helping the company, SafeSpeed LLC, put more cameras in the southwest suburb as well as increase revenues from existing cameras by approving more violations.

Omar Maani was an executive at SafeSpeed. He was cooperating with the FBI, and the exchange of cash was recorded on a camera.