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Red Light Camera Vendor With Ties to Missouri Caught in Chicago Bribery Scandal

redflex w.jpg
Redflex, the Australian firm that operates red light cameras in St. Peters and Wentzville, has lost its contract in Chicago after acknowledging that one of its consultants bribed the bureaucrat in charge of the city's red-light program.

The company conceded over the weekend that the consultant received more than $2 million in "highly suspicious" payments used to fund lavish vacations and other perks for the city's former transportation manager. The consultant, and the transportation manager who retired in 2011, were friends before Redflex hired him to woo city officials.

Curiously, Redflex has also been tied to bribery in Missouri, though it was not the party that solicited the payoff.

The scandal unfolding in Chicago has led to the firing of three of Redflex's top executives in the United States, where the company operates out of Arizona. It has also led Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel to cancel its contract with Redflex, which accounted for 13 percent of the company's annual revenue. Meanwhile, Redflex's stock has stopped trading in Australia upon news of the corruption.

The Chicago Tribune broke news of the bribery allegation last October (Redflex denied wrongdoing until now) and has followed up with dogged coverage all this week.

Redflex was one of the first camera vendors to vie for business in Missouri. In
December 2005 it lost a nasty -- and questionable -- bidding war to American Traffic Solutions (ATS) for the St. Louis contract.

ATS went on to win contracts with most nearby municipalities but not in St. Peters where the city council approved a contract with Redflex in 2006. But the deal had yet to be made official when former St. Peters mayor Shawn Brown contacted a Redflex representative and vowed to veto the contract unless he were paid a bribe. Redflex notified the FBI and then cut Brown a check for $2,750. The mayor was arrested after bringing the money to the bank. He pleaded guilty and served an eighteen-month sentence.



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3 comments
jcwconsult
jcwconsult

ATS is the "wonderful" company that threatened to sue Houston for up to $25 million when Houston citizens voted the cameras out.  Red light cameras are a dirty industry that needs to end.

In virtually every case you can get fewer violations and greater safety by just adding one second to the yellow intervals on the lights - but this safety move is not profitable, so many greedy cities prefer less safe intersections that make more camera ticket revenue.

James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

donaldson1
donaldson1

ATS side  has had it shares of questionable activities too.  http://www.heraldnet.com/assets/pdf/DH94169818.pdf

Quote: 

Our city contract with ATS is set to expire in November. Let me know when you might be available to chat about it on the phone. I would like to get ahead of the game on getting it ready for renewal.

PS
I saw the article in the AZ Republic a week or so ago that said the company is doing very well. I am looking for a job in AZ so I can move soon. If you have any idea if I might quality for something with ATS lets talk.

http://blog.motorists.org/corruption-of-government-police-officials-by-camera-industry/

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/35/3581.asp  Quote:  The distinction between employees for a private photo enforcement firm and taxpayer-funded public servants blurred in the city of Lynnwood, Washington. Emails between city officials and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) suggest a cozy relationship developed where both sides were willing to perform the duties of the other in terms of marketing and public relations.

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