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Red Light Camera Operators Won't Face Further Federal Charges

By Stephen Gossett in News on Dec 28, 2016 6:04PM

The former operators of Chicago’s much-embattled red-light camera system will not face federal prosecution over a bribery scandal so long as the company, Redflex Traffic Systems, continues to cooperate with the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The deal was struck in part due to Redlex’s “extensive and thorough cooperation over recent years,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Just last month, former Redlfex CEO Karen Finley was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty last year to bribery charges. In October, former city transportation exec John Bills was slapped with 10 years in prison after he was found guilty of taking a $2 million kickback in exchange for Redflex’s $100 million contract.

Redflex is still on the hook, however, for a to-be-determined amount of damages due to the city, stemming from a civil suit. The City of Chicago filed suit in September of last year for $300 million.

Redflex was fired by the city from operating the red-light camera system two years ago, but Mayor Emanuel said earlier this year that the administration has no intention of scrapping the controversial cameras, claiming (perhaps erroneously) the program made the streets safer.

Emanuel got rid of 20 percent of the cameras during his mayoral campaign against Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who vowed to dismantle the system. Prior to the scale back, there were 384 cameras in Chicago—more than any other city in the country.