CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that his move to block a new contract for the operator of Chicago’s red light camera program shows the city has “zero tolerance” for ethical violations.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the mayor said he acted quickly when he saw a Chicago Tribune report that Redflex Traffic Systems had improperly paid a luxury hotel bill for a city official who was overseeing the red light program the company operates.
“The moment we heard about this action that Redflex did two years ago – prior to my administration – within 24 hours, 48 hours, I’ve been very clear, they’re not allowed to bid on the speed cameras. They’re barred,” he said.
LISTEN: WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports
Two days ago, the Tribune reported Redflex paid a $910 luxury hotel tab for the city official who oversaw the red light camera program, and also disciplined one of its own executives, but didn’t report the incident to the city until this month.
Emanuel said his administration will not tolerate such ethical lapses from city contractors.
“I want to send a clear message to everybody. There will be zero tolerance for those type of actions. So, while it’s directed … specifically at Redflex, and what they did in 2010 … there will be not only zero tolerance, I want other firms that do business with the city to understand that action.”
As for the company’s existing red light camera contract, Emanuel said the matter has been referred to the City Inspector General’s office for investigation.