AUSTRALIAN manufacturer and operator of speeding and red light cameras Redflex is currently weathering a corruption scandal in Chicago.
According to US prosecutors, John Bills, former managing deputy commissioner of Chicago’s transportation department, received cash, a condominium and other perks in return for using his influence to help Redflex’s Arizona-based arm Redflex Traffic Systems win city contracts worth US$124 million.
Citing ongoing investigations, US authorities have not accused the company of any wrongdoing, and have not provided specific information on whether Redflex employees will be charged.
However, prosecutors are building a case against Bills with the help of a former Redflex employee who allegedly worked closely with Bills. This former employee has been granted immunity.
They are also investigating the role of an unnamed friend of Bills, who was hired by Redflex as a customer liaison, paid more than US$2 million, and allegedly acted as a conduit to funnel money to Bills.
After Bills retired, he allegedly sought a job with Redflex, and was hired at a company funded by Redflex. Redflex then allegedly increased its monthly contribution to the company to help pay his salary.
Redflex has issued a statement stating its full co-operation with the authorities, and announcing “new leadership, new policies and a line between our past and today’s Redflex”.