Emanuel: “I Convicted” Former Red Light Operator Before Federal Indictment
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, in a way, he indicted officials from the city’s original red light camera operator before federal prosecutors did.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports former Redflex Systems CEO Karen Finley has been charged with nine counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, three counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, for allegedly bribing a top City Hall manager to rig the city’s original red light camera contract.
Redflex allegedly arranged for $2 million in bribes to former Chicago Department of Transportation manager John Bills, who allegedly steered $124 million in red light camera contracts to the company.
The mayor said he took actions on the allegations when they first came to light.
“I issued the first indictment of the red light camera operator, because I fired them. I inherited them, and I fired them. That was the first indictment, and I convicted them, because they no longer have the contract,” Emanuel said.
Redflex was removed as the city’s red light camera operator last year, and awarded a new deal to Xerox to run the cameras.
The mayor said the criminal investigation of Redflex and Bills was largely sparked by information uncovered by the city’s inspector general.
Bills was arrested in May, for allegedly accepting more than $643,000 in cash and checks, and a myriad of other bribes – including dozens of trips, a $177,000 Arizona condominium, golf outings, computers, and other personal items bought on Redflex’s dime.
Bills’ longtime friend, Martin O’Malley, also has been indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, for allegedly serving as the bagman for the bribes.