CHICAGO
03/03/2013 12:55 pm ET | Updated Mar 03, 2013

Red Light Camera Bribe: Chicago Camera Program 'Likely Built On $2 Million Bribery Scheme'

Angry drivers griping that Chicago's red light cameras were a scam may have been on to something.

The city's ex-red light camera vendor acknowledged Friday at City Hall the entire Chicago program was "likely built on a $2 million bribery scheme," the Tribune reports.

In February, the city dumped its contract with vendor Redflex Traffic Systems when evidence surfaced that a company executive had plied a retired city transportation manager with free trips and other incentives.

In 2010, a whistle-blower letter by a Redflex executive complained of an improper relationship between former city official John Bills and Redflex consultant Marty O'Malley, the Tribune reports. Bills, O'Malley and a recently-ousted Redflex executive Aaron Rosenberg are at the heart of the alleged bribery scheme.

A February report by the Tribune indicates Bills was lavished with tickets to the Super Bowl, all-expense-paid vacations and golf trips, while O'Malley collected more than $570,000 in company commissions.

Along with the city's investigation, the company hired former city Inspector General David Hoffman as an independent investigator; the Tribune reports according to Hoffman, law enforcement authorities will likely consider the arrangement between Redflex and Bills to be bribery, even if no payments were made.

Since Emanuel barred Redflex from bidding on the city's new contract in February, Chicago is once again in search of a vendor to operate the city's 384 red-light cameras, the Sun-Times reports.

In addition to losing its largest North American contract, the Daily Herald reports the future of Redflex is in jeopardy with serveral suburban clients as well, including Aurora, Gurnee, Carol Stream and Geneva.

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