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Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo 115

Posted by samzenpus
from the red-light-red-light dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The former CEO of Redflex, a major red light camera vendor, and John Bills, former Managing Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Transportation, have been indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from a contract with the City of Chicago. According to the indictment, a friend of Bills was hired as a contractor and paid $2 million. Much of that money was then kicked back to Bills, who also got a Mercedes and a condominium via Redflex employees. The defendants are facing 23 counts including: mail fraud, wire fraud, and bribery. Each fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years."
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Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo

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  • Well duh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:41AM (#47693999)
    Red light cameras have been known to be a cash cow for cities, a way to generate revenue.

    And just like for for profit prisons, they have to generate more money each quarter. It's the way of business. Which is why neither should be done on a for profit mode

    We've already had examples of shortening yellow light duration to make certain that more people are fined, more profits. This has already caused rear ending crashes to increase as people bitten once jam on the sprags once they see the yellow light. (not to excuse tailgating - it shouldn't be done.

    And the amount of revenue generated has to be significant if they consider expensive cars and condos as a cost of doing business.

    But after doing things like shortening yellow lights to increase profit, what's next? Hey who knows? Maybe hire a few graphic artists and do matching of redlight cam photos and photoshop license plates on 'em of owners of similar cars.

    Technology is awesome! But the shareholders must be served.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:19AM (#47694267)

    Trust me, Chicago is worse. The thing is, Chicago corruption is efficient. You pay this person X and you get Y. Very simple and strait forward. Things get done. It's an infection but it's not killing the host. What I've seen of New Orleans is corruption that doesn't work. Things don't get done.

  • by BringsApples (3418089) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:56AM (#47694603)
    If it weren't for bribes, and all the other luxuries that come with being 'in office', I don't think anyone would apply (run for) for those positions. Anyone that works for the general public knows that it's not as nice as working for a private company. Working in the government is 'working for the general public' - on crack (no pun Canada).

    It's quite common for those that work in the government to see the public as a bunch of losers that aren't willing to do anything, but want you to give them stuff, mostly money. They see how broken the system is, and are satisfied with taking what they can and getting out as soon as they can. Also, it's not that this happens more or less in any part of the country, but that in the south, it appears that they're more divided and against each other, resulting in more tattling.

    Until lobbying is put to rest, how does anyone expect that this won't be a constant issue?
  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:00AM (#47694635)

    Cincinnatus [wikipedia.org] wants a word with you.

    I dont think its nearly as simple as you make it. If all you want is money (which is what bribes are), public office is probably the wrong place to look. I think many people entering public office geniunely want to change things for the better, and to do it their way. That doesnt mean their methods will be kosher, but I dont think you would deal with the hassles of public office just for some money gained far more easily in the private sector.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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