Illinois State Senator Dan Duffy introduced a resolution condemning Redflex Traffic Systems Inc and calling for “further investigation into a ‘scandal’ possibly involving the company and Red Light Cameras (RLCs).” Duffy’s complete statement follows at the end of this posting. The company’s business practices were recently called into question when a ‘bribery scandal’ surfaced in the media. According to Duffy, “the Chicago Tribune said that this egregious ‘scandal’ would rank among the largest in the annals” of municipal “corruption”.
This is newsworthy since the city of Naperville had contracted with Redflex Traffic Systems. Late in 2011 the Naperville city council deadlocked four-to-four on a one year contract extension. Needing a simple majority of five, the vote put an end to the use of Red Light Cameras in Naperville. While councilman Paul Hinterlong was absent for the vote, those voting in favor of keeping the relationship with Redflex included Mayor George Pradel (who announced he’s not running for re-election), a former council member, councilman Joe McElroy (who was not part of the original vote to contract with Redflex), and Naperville city council member Judy Brodhead who gave her full support to Redflex Traffic Systems Inc.
Councilman Judy Brodhead has also recently voted for Smart Meters resulting in forced installations, increased traffic congestion with the Water Street project, and increasing the number of liquor licenses in Naperville. Brodhead’s vote in favor of Red Light Cameras, and specifically Redflex Traffic Systems, begs the questions, ‘Why would you support these bad ideas?”, and “Is there something you know, that we don’t know that guides your vote?” These are reasonable questions to ask and get answers to, long before the next city council election.
State senator Dan Duffy’s announcement:
“State Senator Dan Duffy has introduced Senate Resolution 314 condemning Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. and calling for further investigation into a scandal involving the company, Red Light Camera’s, and the City of Chicago.
Redflex operates red light cameras in 38 Illinois municipalities. Since 2003 Redflex has generated more than $300 million in revenue for Chicago. However, the company’s business practices were recently called into question when a bribery scandal emerged in the media.
“The Chicago Tribune has said that this egregious scandal would rank among the largest in the annals of Chicago corruption,” said Duffy. “We need to conduct a proper investigation into this scandal to understand the full depth of the corruption. Red light cameras are already a subversion of due process, and now they’re contributing to the inherent culture of corruption already present in Chicago.”
A number of Redflex’s executives were implicated in a bribery scandal in which it was revealed that one of the company’s consultants had been making improper payments to a Chicago transportation official who was responsible for overseeing the awarding of contracts for the installation and operation of the controversial red light camera system.
Further investigation revealed that Redflex paid potentially $2.03 million in bribes to city officials and that the company’s president not only had knowledge of the arrangement, but had also lied to city officials about the extent of the wrongdoing.
Inspector General Joseph Ferguson has stated that the Inspector Generals office has “found lack of a basic record keeping and an alarming lack of analysis for an ongoing program that cost tens of millions of dollars a year and generates tens of millions more in revenue.”
‘My resolution calls on the Illinois Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, the States Attorneys of Cook, Lake, Kane, St. Clair, Madison, and McHenry Counties to conduct investigations into the misconduct of Redflex,” said Duffy. “If corruption did indeed occur during the contract negotiation process between Redflex and Illinois municipalities, then this Senate Resolution demands that refunds for Red Light Camera fines be paid back to the citizens and the cameras turned off immediately.’
Why didn’t Duffy include DuPage County since most of it also has red light cameras with Naperville as pointed out in this article the same vender. Our ethically challenged city manager and council might want to double check how our agreements with this company came about?
As is usually the case follow the money and since city council’s credibility is about equal to our Federal legislature an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure after the fact. Good forbid but another series of FOIAs needs to be initiated.