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City Sues Red Light Camera Operators For $300 Million Over Bribery Scheme

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Sep 1, 2015 6:29PM

The city has sued the ex-operators of Chicago's controversial red light camera program for $300 million after top executives were found to have participated in a $2 million bribery scam.

A whistle-blower from the firm that once operated the city's red light cameras has teamed up with the city to take down his former employers, the Tribune reports. Aaron Rosenberg, the former executive vice president with Redflex Traffic Systems, which still operates red light cameras in other cities, says he helped plan the bribery scandal at the behest of his bosses.

Last month Redflex's ex-chief executive Karen Finley pled guilty to bribing John Bills, a former city transportation exec who secured Redflex's contract with the city to operate the red light cameras several years ago under Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration. Bills is scheduled to be tried in federal court on bribery charges in January.

Bills' attorney denies the allegations.

Redflex was awarded over $124 million under its contract with the city before Emanuel fired the firm, according to the Tribune. The city is seeking triple that amount in a lawsuit first filed under seal in April 15 and unsealed last week.

"Had the City known that these statements were false, the City would have canceled the contracts with Redflex," the suit reads. "The City suffered damages in reliance of Redflex's false statements that it had not engaged in bribery or attempted to bribe any employee of the City."

Read the details of the lawsuit over at the Tribune, and read more of our reporting on the troubled red light camera program and its mismanagement woes.