Chicago wants $300 million from the company it hired to photograph, ticket and follow drivers after it was revealed that executives bribed city officials for the contract, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.
Executives for Redflex paid over $2 million to city officials through a bag man for the $124 million contract from the city, which started in 2003. City officials are suing for roughly triple that amount, including penalties.
Redflex has been accused of handing out thousands of unnecessary tickets to motorists, including 13,000 in Chicago alone, according to the Tribune.
The CEO of Redflex, Karen Finley, stepped down after pleading guilty to bribery charges. The city official accused of accepting the $2 million in bribe payments, John Bills, is facing federal charges later this year.
The controversial cameras face an uncertain future in many cities. Officials in Tampa are reviewingthat city’s contract that fines motorists more than $150 per offense, with the contracting company pocketing nearly half that amount. The cameras don’t produce significant revenue, Tampa officials say, and the cameras may not make problematic intersections any safer.
“When I saw the numbers of the money and where the money is going right now, that’s money being taken out of our city and it’s quite a large amount,” Tampa City Council member Yolie Capin told the Tampa Tribune. “We felt it should be used for engineering those problematic intersections.”