Company accused of ethics lapses in Chicago holds big public contracts

Company accused of ethics lapses in Chicago holds big public contracts

Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., a major traffic camera vendor accused of ethical lapses in Chicago, holds big public contracts in the state of Oregon and may be looking to expand its customer base to include the cities of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Breitbart News has learned.

A source familiar with Redflex’s contracting arrangements has confirmed to Breitbart News that as was recently reported by NW Watchdog, the company maintains a near monopoly on contracts involving traffic cameras in Oregon. Meanwhile that source alleged that Redflex is also looking to expand into Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. This is despite Redflex having been banned from doing business with the City of Chicago earlier this year following the alleged bribery of at least one Windy City official. 

According to the Chicago Tribune:

Arizona-based firm has disclosed it paid a $910 luxury hotel tab for the city official in charge of its contract and failed to tell City Hall about the ethics breach for two years.

The company also acknowledged to the newspaper it did not disclose internal allegations about ties between the city official and a Redflex contractor who received more than $570,000 in commissions — $1,500 for each of the 384 cameras the company installed in Chicago.

The disclosures add to a growing list of questions about Redflex, including its relationship with John Bills, the man at City Hall who oversaw the company’s biggest U.S. contract from its beginning in 2003. The Tribune previously disclosed that after retiring from the city last year, Bills went to work as a consultant for the Redflex-funded Traffic Safety Coalition.

That group, run by a political ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, backed the mayor’s successful push to expand the city’s camera program to target speeders.”

However, in the wake of the Chicago Tribune’s report, Mayor Rahm Emanuel blocked Redflex from competing for business, saying the company was “barred” and citing a zero-tolerance policy.

Redflex’s prior contract with Chicago was said to be one of the largest anywhere in the world. 

The situation in Chicago involving the company has provoked questions in some quarters about other localities’ dealings with the firm, and whether it should be be retained as a vendor for camera programs, many of which remain controversial. 

However, it appears that Redflex is unlikely to lose its Oregon business as a result of the Chicago allegations.

Breitbart News has previously covered alleged misbehavior on the part of specific players in the traffic camera industry, noting that while they constitute but a handful of camera vendors, perceived ethical lapses or hypocritical behavior on their part have a tendency to give even whiter-than-white firms a bad name.