Category Archives: Uncategorized
A Lincoln Park man filed a federal class action lawsuit Thursday seeking to recover the tens of millions of dollars Redflex Traffic Systems made while it was the city’s red light camera vendor from 2003 until early this year.
Matthew Falkner, who received a red light ticket for $100 in January 2013, alleges in the complaint that Redflex was only able to generate the over $100 million in revenue for the past 11 years because of an illegal bribery scheme.
In its allegations, the lawsuit lays out the story of a former employee of Redflex blowing the whistle on an improper relationship between the company and the Chicago Department of Transportation official in charge of the city’s RLC program. The complaint alleges it was the bribes given to the CDOT official which help secure the contract for Redflex.
That CDOT employee, John Bills, who has since left employment with the city, was recently indicted by the federal government for bribery in connection with Redflex. The U.S. Attorney’s office claims Bills received close to $600,000 in cash, gifts, cars, travel and a $177,000 condominium.
The class action lawsuit claims that 20-25% of each $100 fine paid for a red light camera violation went into Redflex’s pockets. Therefore, according to the court filing, due to the illegal nature of how the contract was awarded, these “ill-gotten gains” must be returned to the hundreds of thousands of drivers who paid their fines.
28th Ward Alderman Jason Ervin has some problems with some of the city’s parking ticket policies including the $200 fine for failure to purchase and/or display a Chicago city sticker and payment plan options for drivers who can’t afford to pay their tickets. He discusses a few of his ideas in this short interview.
So, we’re dedicating an entire Ask the Parking Ticket Geek column to that sticky subject.
Dear Parking Ticket Geek,
So, I am one of those city sticker procrastinators. I just bought my sticker online today (June 27) and it says it could take up to 2 weeks to arrive.
Does this mean I can get a ticket before it arrives in the mail?
Don’t sweat it, Stephanie.
It’s the last Friday of the month–and that means the Critical Mass bikers will take place this evening.
On a beautiful June evening this means hundreds if not thousands of bikers will be on the streets and helping gridlock streets wherever the route may take them.
Be prepared to wait at intersections, much like as if a freight train was going by, for up to 20 minutes for the parade of bikes goes by.
A federal judge last week sided with the former executive vice president of red light camera manufacturer Redflex Traffic Systems who is suing his former employer for wrongful termination. District Judge George H. Wu issued a tentative ruling last Thursday in favor of Aaron M. Rosenberg.
The Australian firm fired Rosenberg after he was caught bribing a top city official in Chicago, Illinois. The company then sued Rosenberg and his wife in an Arizona court. Rosenberg, who lives in Los Angeles, countersued in California Superior Court in February, arguing he was just following orders from the company.
For his suit, Rosenberg served court papers on the Arizona and the California offices of Redflex. Redflex rejected this service, calling the Arizona corporation Redflex Traffic Systems Inc a “sham defendant, which does not exist.” The company insisted on removing the lawsuit to federal court because Rosenberg never worked for a California-based company.
According to IDOT a collapsed storm sewer discovered by IDOT at 25th Avenue is the culprit.
IDOT is closing down the southbound 25th Avenue ramp to the eastbound Eisenhower (I-290) starting at 7 AM Thursday to repair the sewer. IDOT expects the problem to be fixed and the ramp re-opened later in the day.
But Illinois Department of Transportation crews dismantling the Ontario Street Bridge finished removing the last portion of the structure overnight Saturday allowing for the reopening of all lanes, including the reversibles around 7:30 AM according to the agency.
Crews were slated to work three weekends in a row to remove the bridge, but workers moved so quickly, they were able to finish early the previous weekend and this weekend–even eliminating the need for a third weekend of lane closures.
The Ontario Street Bridge will be replaced with a steel span structure. The entire project will cost $16.5 million.
Hopefully, if you’re close to a radio you can tune in WLUW 88.7 FM to listen to Outside the Loop Radio.
The Parking Ticket Geek joins the affable Mike Stephen on Outside the Loop to talk about record pothole numbers, the Illinois Supreme Court hearing a case about Chicago’s red light cameras and other driving related stuff.
Tune in or stream it live.
Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras returns to the North Side this weekend.
The anti-traffic camera group will be holding a protest Saturday, June 14th from 11 AM to 2 PM at the intersection of Western Avenue and Addison. The location, near Lane Tech High School boasts both speed camera and red light cameras.
The TV station’s investigative reporting found that drivers of the two vehicles assigned to the mayor received 17 red light camera tickets or speed camera warnings over the past two years.
But this doesn’t bother Illinois News Online columnist Ray Hanania.
Hanania loves Mayor Emanuel and believes since he’s such a busy guy and needs to do be going from one important meeting or appearance to another he and his drivers deserve a pass.
“He’s the mayor. Voters elect him and other mayors to represent them,” says Hanania in his column. “They have to be in 100 places at one time all the time. They have very little private life and time with their families. I say give them a break.”