Red-light camera firm axed by city as corruption investigation heats up
Posted Feb 12, 2013 5:19 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will boot red-light camera firm Redflex Traffic Systems when its contract expires in July amid claims the company showered a city official with thousands of dollars in free trips—including a jaunt to the Super Bowl.
Ongoing probes into the lucrative deal, which has generated about $100 million for the company and more than $300 million in ticket revenue for the city, have raised more questions of improper favors given to former city transportation official John Bills, reports the Chicago Tribune, which first disclosed Bills’ relationship to the firm—a subsidiary of the Australian company Redflex Holdings—in October. The allegations were first made by a former Redflex vice president in an internal email obtained by the newspaper.
Redflex Holdings' chairman resigned last week, and trading in the company’s stock was suspended amid revelations that it is sharing information with law enforcement authorities.
The company has also been disqualified from bidding on Emanuel’s new speed camera initiative designed to tag speeders in school and park "safety zones,” according to the Tribune.