Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday called for state Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, to resign from the Illinois Senate after he was charged with bribery and lying to federal agents.
Jones is scheduled to be arraigned Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Andrea Wood. Jones did not immediately respond to phone or email messages from WTTW News Thursday morning.
Pritzker also called for the resignation of state Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Frankfort, who has been accused of abusing his wife and mistreating state employees. Hastings has not been charged with a crime. In a statement, Hastings said he would not resign and called the allegations "baseless and without merit."
Both Jones and Hastings resigned from their leadership positions posts in the party, and Jones stepped down as chair of the Licensed Activities Committee and vice chair of the Public Safety Committee at the request of Senate President Don Harmon.
Hastings remains chair of the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities Committee.
But that is not enough, Pritzker said.
"In the best interests of their constituents, these men must resign from their offices,” Pritzker said. “Resigning only their leadership roles falls short of what the public should expect. I want to send a clear message to the people of Illinois: corruption and abuse have no place here.”
Pritzker is facing state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, in November’s general election. Bailey has sought to capitalize on the charges facing Jones and the allegations against Hastings in his campaign.
Jones is unopposed in his bid for re-election, while Hasting faces Republican Patrick Sheehan of Lockport.
Jones, the son of former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr., is the latest in a series of elected officials to be charged as part of the sprawling probe into whether elected officials accepted bribes as part of a push to install red-light cameras in the city and suburbs.
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