Skip to comments.Chicago scandal leads to shake-up at red-light camera firm
Posted on 02/08/2013 9:36:20 AM PST by relictele
The chairman of the Australian company behind Chicago's red-light program resigned this week and trading in the company's stock was suspended amid an intensifying investigation into allegations of corruption in its Chicago contract.
Redflex Holdings Ltd. announced the extraordinary actions just days after board members were briefed by an outside legal team hired to examine ties between the company's U.S. subsidiary and the city official who oversaw its contract, a relationship first disclosed in October by the Tribune.
In a brief statement Thursday to the newspaper, the company also revealed for the first time that it is sharing information with law enforcement authorities.
The internal probe found that company executives systematically courted former city transportation official John Bills with thousands of dollars in free trips to the Super Bowl and other sporting events, sources familiar with the investigation told the Tribune. The company also hid the extent of the improper relationship from City Hall after the newspaper's reporting last year forced Redflex to partially reveal its ties to Bills, sources said.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
Corruption and bribery in Chicago? Color me red-yellow-green shocked to the core...........
“they fail to see that cameras and the people who love them care not a whit about safety. “
Tallahassee has seen several rear-end collisions because people are afraid of tickets and the yellow is now only 3 seconds. Officials reduced the yellow timing because they weren’t getting enough revenue. None of the cameras have produced the calculated revenue as driving behavior changed. I try to avoid the intersections as they are too dangerous.
If Marx and Lenin had been able to conceive of red light cameras, they would have listed them as a policy to be implemented in the Communist manifesto, and a litmus test for Useful Idiots.
What a shock -- NOT. And, of course, the focus is on what the company did wrong. The company should get in trouble, but do you think any laws will be passed to stop it from happening in the future? Do you think the state and city council will finally get serious about corruption? Somehow I doubt it. Chicago will remain "open for business."
Agree with your post. If a police officer pulls you over the moment you have screwed up, those lights flashing, the siren sounding etc. gets your attention, and respect for the situation. It’s clearer as to what the violation is, and that it in fact happened, and needs to be addressed. One remembers, and safety is enhanced.
Receiving a notification in the mail eleven days after you screwed up, and don’t even remember being at such a place, much less the possibility that you in fact are capable of screwing up leads to less respect for the enforcement procedures, and creates generally a feeling of disdain that adds to the them against us attitude so prevelant today. One’s focus is on the outrage, and safety is not enhanced.
The Red Light cameras, the speeding cameras all have to go as they are nothing but tools for the purpose of increased revenue for the municipality. Actually a form of taxation.
How about using scum sucking contingency fee attorneys to use the RICO act to shut down these crooks (i.e. both Chicago and the red-light company).
Redflex consultant also has ties to controversy in Louisiana
October 22, 2012|By David Kidwell, Chicago Tribune reporter
A red-light camera at West Cermak Road and South Canal Street is one of more than 300 that Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. installed as part of its deal with the city. (John J. Kim, Chicago Tribune)
A consultant for Chicago’s embattled red-light camera vendor under scrutiny for his $570,000 in commissions and his relationship to the city manager who oversaw the contract is also tied to another company deal investigated in an ongoing federal corruption probe in Louisiana, the Tribune has learned.
A federal grand jury in 2010 demanded records from Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. involving its 2007 deal to install red-light cameras in Jefferson Parish, a large suburban government just outside New Orleans, a company lawyer disclosed in a Tribune interview. The lawyer said company officials are confident nothing was improper.
Redflex was introduced to lobbyist Bryan Wagner by Marty O’Malley, a company consultant and its Chicago customer service representative, who used to work for an environmental company in Louisiana. Redflex and O’Malley came under scrutiny in Chicago this month amid Tribune inquiries into internal Redflex allegations about O’Malley’s own large commission deal and his personal ties to former city manager John Bills. Bills oversaw the company contract for red-light cameras in Chicago.
O’Malley, 72, of Worth, was first hired by Redflex in 2003 to be the company’s liaison to Chicago officials at the outset of its contract to install red-light cameras throughout the city. In a recent interview, O’Malley said he met Wagner years before when Wagner was lobbying for O’Malley’s former employer.
Though Redflex is on the hot seat for providing perks to city employees, this remains a common industry practice. In 2010, the Australian firm also put the police chief of Oak Ridge, Tennessee up at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in return for his favorable testimony at a court trial two years ago. Affiliated Computer Services (ACS, now a part of Xerox) was caught giving hockey tickets and other services to police officers in Edmonton, Canada, although criminal charges were ultimately dropped. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) regularly entertains public officials involved in red light camera business, but the airfare, lodging and wages during the event is paid for by taxpayers, not ATS.
And yet that’s business as usual in Congress. Go Big or Go Home, I guess.
“Corruption and bribery in Chicago?”
That urban legend has been going around longer than the Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe.