The chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee today called for hearings into allegations that Chicago’s red-light camera contract was likely built on a $2 million bribery scheme.
The company, Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., already is under investigation by Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson and has been banned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel from competing for its soon-to-expire red-light contract. The Emanuel administration ordered an audit of that contract and also blocked Redflex from competing for the mayor’s upcoming speed camera program.
The actions were prompted by Chicago Tribune reports questioning the relationship between Redflex’s Chicago consultant and the former city transportation manager who oversaw the growth of the contract into the company’s largest North American enforcement program. Redflex admitted in a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange that an internal investigation found that an arrangement that included more than $2 million in company compensation to the consultant would likely be considered bribery by authorities.
Now Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, says he wants to conduct his own fact-finding hearings.
"I think somebody ought to be looking at whether the company is responsible for what happened, and not just blame city employees, but see whether this company actually is a fit company to do business here or anywhere else in the country," Burke said after introducing a City Council resolution requesting city officials to appear at hearings.