City's Red-Light Camera Vendor Under Scrutiny

Company's bid for speed camera contract dropped after ethics violation

The same company that caught you on camera running a red light won't be the same one catching you speeding.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel removed Redflex Traffic Systems Inc.'s bid for the city's speed camera contract after an Chicago Tribune investigation turned up ethics violations.

The violations include paying a $910 hotel bill for the city official that oversees the program, disciplining a top executive and failing to inform the city about it in a timely manner.

"They're not allowed to bid on the speed cameras. They're barred. And I want to send a clear message to everybody: there will be zero tolerance for those types of actions," Emanuel said Wednesday.

The controversial speed cameras, which will roll out as soon next month, are expected to add up to $30 million to city coffers, and plenty of revenue for the company that implements the system.

The mayor denies it's a money grab, claiming the revenue from speeding fines will benefit Chicago children through after-school programs and summer activities.

Redflex apologized for the incident through its public relations firm and says it has instituted reforms.

Removing Redflex from the bidding process also removes any suspicion of impropriety if the company were to win the contract. Rahm's former campaign manager, Greg Goldner, is a media consultant for Redflex.

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