Redflex Reveals Bribe Probe In Chicago Red Light Camera Contract
By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 4, 2013 2:45PM
The Australian parent company of the group that once held the contract to Chicago’s red light cameras announced another investigation into its ties with the former Chicago Department of Transportation official at the center of the probe after it revealed for the first time that bribes were allegedly paid to the official and the consultant on the project.
The Tribune reported the president, chief financial officer and top legal counsel for Redflex Camera Systems resigned Friday, parent company Redflex Holdings Ltd. Held meetings at their subsidiary’s Phoenix headquarters to address the investigation, and told Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office and the City Inspector General’s office that the company tried to bribe CDOT official John Bills and the consultant with money and expenses-paid vacations.
Former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman, Redflex Holding’s lead investigator, revealed for the first time the company paid $2.03 million to the consultant, with the majority of the money paid between 2007 and 2011, the years where the red light camera program expanded the most. IT’s believed the arrangement was intended to funnel some of the money to Bills, who had oversight over the red light camera program.
Hoffman said the payments could be considered bribery under applicable law, even if they weren’t made. Redflex revealed the probe in a five-page filing to the Australian Securities Exchange Monday. Their stock has been suspended from trading pending the announcement
Redflex Traffic Systems revealed last October it paid a $910 hotel bill for Bills in 2010 but didn’t report it to the Chicago Board of Ethics until the Tribune’s report. Redflex Holdings chairman Maxwell Findlay resigned Feb. 6 as the probe deepened. Bills has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in connection with the investigation, and both he and the consultant have refused to cooperate with the investigation.
The $2.03 million paid by Redflex would make the red light camera contract one of the largest in Chicago’s history of corruption.