The Chicago Tribune reported last month that the city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit asking for $300 million against Redflex, the red light camera company that profited due to a $2 million bribery scheme.
The 20-page lawsuit seeks triple the $124 million Redflex collected on the Chicago contract both before and after it was fired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel amid the scandal, as well as a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each time the company made a false statement to the city. The lawsuit details an alleged conspiracy in which Redflex executives teamed up with former city official, John Bills, to orchestrate cash payments to him through a consultant acting as a bagman, as well as providing Bills with vacation trips, computers, golf outings and other perks. In exchange, according to the lawsuit, Bills coached Redflex on how to beat its competitors, orchestrated key votes at City Hall, manipulated field tests to favor the company, covered up problems with Redflex’s performance and cost taxpayers millions by encouraging city officials to buy Redflex cameras instead of leasing them.
“Had the City known that these statements were false, the City would have canceled the contracts with Redflex,” the suit alleges. “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.”
The lawsuit is actually an intervention of an existing whistle-blower lawsuit filed by former Redflex executive Aaron Rosenberg, in Cook County Circuit Court last year.
I guess this is an attempt by the city to wipe some of the egg of their face as it was their own employee that was in the middle of the bribery scheme. How is it no one from city hall knew that this was going on at the time that the contracts for red light cameras were being bid on. I hope the city can recoup some of their money but this seems like too little too late for a program that has been drenched in controversy since day one. Not only was Redflex operating under fraudulent circumstances, but the entire purpose of the program has been called into question as it is not clear there is a safety benefit to red light cameras. I will be interested to learn what happens with this lawsuit.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago pedestrian accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
It was widely reported this week that two (2) women in Iowa have a filed a lawsuit seeking class action status against Gatso USA, which runs the traffic cameras in Des Moines.
The lawsuit says the city’s use of speed and red-light cameras violates their fundamental right to travel granted in the U.S. and Iowa constitutions. It also says it entraps drivers in numerous ways, such as the threat of suspending a driver’s license because a ticket has not been paid.
Earlier this week, the Iowa Department of Transportation found that 10 of Iowa’s 34 traffic enforcement cameras should be shut down because they are not making roads safer. Among those to be shut off are speed cameras located on Interstate Highway 235 in Des Moines, where both Brooks and Bullock have received speeding tickets.
The argument over the constitutionality of red light cameras was heard by the Illinois Supreme Court last summer and the court was split on its’ decision. Thus, the red light cameras remains constitutional in Illinois.
A class action lawsuit was filed in Illinois last year against Redflex, which is alleging that the company was unjustly enriched by money they made through their contract with the city of Chicago. Redflex employees, along with a city employee, were indicted and charged with fraud based on bribes paid by Redflex to secure the contract. Although different, there is no doubt that citizens and attorneys throughout the country are frustrated with traffic cameras and are looking at every possible avenue to have them terminated.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago traffic accident or a Chicago workers compensation case, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
I wrote earlier this year about a federal investigation involving, Redflex, the technology company that previously handled Chicago’s red light camera technology. That federal investigation led to indictments against the Redflex CEO, and consultant and a city of Chicago official for all allegedly being involved in a bribery scandal. The Chicago Tribune reported today that the “bagman,” Martin O’Malley, plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to bribe a public official. He faces up to five years in prison.
The interesting issue here for me is whether this will affect the pending class action lawsuit against Redflex. The lawsuit, filed earlier this year, alleges that Redflex was unjustly enriched millions of dollars from this contract with the city Chicago because they allegedly received these funds through illegal bribes. It will be interesting to see if the transcripts from Mr. O’Malley’s sentencing hearing will be used as evidence in the class action lawsuit. I will be following this case closely.
No word yet as to whether the city has any plans on ending the use of red light cameras throughout Chicago. I don’t see a change any time soon.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
Both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times reported last week that Karen Finley, the onetime CEO of Redflex, John Bills, a former Chicago city official, and one of Bills’s friends are facing charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, bribery, and conspiracy to commit bribery, with Bills also facing a charge of conspiracy to commit extortion. The charges have been filed in Federal Court in the Northern District of Illinois.
Finley, who was CEO of Redflex until February of 2013, allegedly passed bribes to Bills via Bills’s friend, Martin O’Malley, in exchange for Bills’s help in receiving the red light camera contracts. Those contracts eventually led to $124 million going to Redflex, the Sun-Times said.
Last February, the city chose to block Redflex from bidding on on further traffic camera contracts, in the wake of the scandal, and eventually it chose a Xerox unit as the new red light camera operator.
This should not come as a surprise as both Redflex and Bills have come under scrutiny since last year when it was determined that alleged corruption was involved in the bidding process. As a wrote several weeks back, Redflex has also been named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit alleging that they were unjustly enriched from money they received as the red light camera operator because it was alleged that the contract was received through bribery. This is just another example of how controversial red light cameras have become in Chicago. There are some critics out there, including myself, that believe red light cameras do not actually make intersections safer and are merely a money grab by the city. I will be following the class action lawsuit closely along with the federal charges.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
I wrote last week about a class action lawsuit filed against the red light camera technology company, Redflex, that the city of Chicago contracted with for its red light camera enforcement. The basis of the lawsuit was that Redflex unjustly profited from ticket fines after it was revealed that they bribed their way into the contract with Chicago transportation officials.
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the Chicago Tribune published an article based on a 10 month investigation about bogus tickets being produced by the Redflex technology. The investigation reported the following irregularities in ticket enforcement:
“Cameras that for years generated just a few tickets daily suddenly caught dozens of drivers a day. One camera near the United Center rocketed from generating one ticket per day to 56 per day for a two-week period last summer before mysteriously dropping back to normal.
Tickets for so-called rolling right turns on red shot up during some of the most dramatic spikes, suggesting an unannounced change in enforcement. One North Side camera generated only a dozen tickets for rolling rights out of 100 total tickets in the entire second half of 2011. Then, over a 12-day spike, it spewed 563 tickets—560 of them for rolling rights.
Many of the spikes were marked by periods immediately before or after when no tickets were issued—downtimes suggesting human intervention that should have been documented. City officials said they cannot explain the absence of such records.”
I think one of two things (or possibly both) will happen. First, the city and Redflex will offer refunds on tickets paid during this period of abnormal ticket enforcement. The second is another class action lawsuit against Redflex and possibly the city. Regardless if this glitch in the system was done intentionally or not (both the city and Redflex stated they knew nothing until the investigation came out), those ticketed on these dates should be reimbursed.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.