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Ex City Official Found Guilty In Red Light Camera Bribery Scheme

By Kate Shepherd in News on Jan 26, 2016 10:30PM

A former City Hall employee was found guilty on 20 counts of fraud, extortion, bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and filing false tax returns by a federal jury Tuesday.

John Bills, former Chicago Department of Transportation assistant commissioner, was on trial for taking $2 million in bribes and gifts from red light camera vendor Redflex Traffic Systems in exchange for contracts with the city, according to the Sun-Times.

The jury took about five hours to reach a verdict, according to the Tribune.

His defense attorney, Nishay Sanan, had argued that the bribes from Redflex actually went to "lobbyists with ties to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Mayor Richard M. Daley, who then funneled the cash 'upstairs,'" the Sun-Times says.

Sanan says Bills isn't giving up his fight after the guilty verdict.

"John is going to continue to fight for his innocence," he said outside the courtroom, according to the Tribune. "The fight is not over. The people who are guilty of this know who they are, (but) we don't expect them to come forward."

The lead prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon told reporters that justice has been served.

"I do believe that public corruption is a disease, it is a cancer, it is insidious," Fardon said.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall has set a sentencing hearing for May 5.