Chicago has announced that it would not renew its contract with its red-light camera vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems, part of an Australian company. The decision follows shocking disclosures of how the company showered a former city official with gifts and shared information with law enforcement.
Company officials gave thousands of dollars of free trips to the Super Bowl and other sporting events to former city transportation official John Bills. It will now lose a contract that generated $100 million for the company ($300 million went to the city). The details of the contract not only indicate how these cameras have been a windfall for cities but also the extraordinary profit margin given to the companies. Chicago is also the city that gave an absurd 75 year exclusive contract for parking meters in a corrupt deal under the Daley Administration. The result is that Chicagoans are now in the gripes of a company that has made parking the most expensive in the nation: soon to be $6.50 an hour.
Previous the company denied the allegations publicly but has had to now admit to wrongdoing and promise steps of reform.
Bills denies any wrongdoing but it is not clear if he denies accepting these trips from a contractor which would seem to most people as grossly unethical. Yet, a company executive complained of “nonreported lavish hotel accommodations” for Bills. There is also an allegation that a longtime friend of Bills was given a job that generated more than $570,000 in company commissions as a customer service representative in Chicago.
Source: Chicago Tribune