Chicago has settled its lawsuit against the beleaguered Redflex Traffic Systems for $20 million, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday.
The settlement ends a civil suit that accused the former operator of the city’s red light cameras of “committing fraudulent acts and making false statements while obtaining the contract in 2003 and during the subsequent expansion of the program.”
“The City of Chicago will not stand by while a company takes advantage of our taxpayers, and I hope that this serves as a warning to other companies that do business or hope to business with the City that we will hold those who try to take advantage of taxpayers accountable,” Emanuel said in a statement. “This settlement will allow the City of Chicago to recoup and rededicate funds to improving the lives of our residents.”
Last year, a former Chicago transportation official was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts to steer more than $100 million in red-light camera contracts to Redflex.
Authorities alleged John Bills fixed a key commission vote to secure an initial deal for Redflex around 2003. Chicago signed other contracts later as it expanded its red-light enforcement program. Much-vilified by drivers, the program uses cameras to automatically record and ticket drivers who run red lights.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled Redflex's contract in 2013 following the Chicago Tribune's reports of the alleged bribery scheme. Bills retired from his job as the city's managing deputy commissioner of transportation in 2011, and he was charged in 2014.
Redflex retiree Martin O'Malley pleaded guilty to his role in the bribery conspiracy along with former Redflex CEO Karen Finely.
The settlement is expected to be paid in installments over the next six years.