Tag Archives: Chicago red light cameras
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.
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.
Having writer Jon Yates bring attention to his red light camera woes in the pages of the Chicago Tribune seems to have really helped Jamal Norwood get some justice from the city.
As you may recall, Norwood received a red light camera ticket where the video seems to show him making a complete stop before turning right on red.
But despite contesting his ticket and pointing out he indeed stopped, the Administrative Law Judge who adjudicated his ticket upheld the violation.
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.
ABC 7 was on hand in Ottawa, IL to cover the oral arguments for Keating V. Chicago in front of the Illinois Supreme Court last Wednesday.
WGN News also did a piece on the hearing but, use video of speed cameras not red light cameras in their reporting.
The day before the hearing, NBC 5 sat down with Patrick Keating, the class action lawsuit’s lead attorney, to lay out his case.
County State’s Attorney Stops East St. Louis “Speed Camera” Program
Speed camera enforcement is only legal in one city in Illinois–and that’s Chicago.
But that didn’t stop East St. Louis.
The city hired a private company to help them start issuing $240 camera tickets to drivers allegedly speeding in construction zones.
But now, after many complaints the St. Clair State’s Attorney stepped in and told the East St. Louis Police Department to discontinue the practice according to KDSK TV.
The Police Chief claims they are legal, but was forced to non-suit a bunch of these tickets recently because the State’s Attorney says these tickets are not being adjudicated by a judge but by an administrative law officer.
H/T: Stephen Donaldson
Palos Hills To Install New Red Light Camera
OTTAWA — A class-action lawsuit that aims to end the city’s red-light camera program — and possibly lead to refunds to drivers for every ticket issued since it started in 2003 — was argued before the Illinois Supreme Court Wednesday, but justices gave no indication which way they might rule.
Attorney Mike Reagan told the court that the city did not have the legal authority to start using cameras in 2003 because the Illinois General Assembly had not passed a law specifically allowing this type of traffic enforcement.
Reagan also argued that the city, by using the cameras, actually violated Illinois laws requiring uniform traffic rules statewide, which applies to such things as the color of stop signs, traffic lights and other rules of the road.
“The city lacked the power to enact this ordinance,” Reagan said. The city law “destroys uniformity and uniform enforcement of traffic laws.”
State lawmakers did not OK automated red-light cameras until 2006, but then restricted their use to just eight of 102 counties, including Cook, the collar counties and counties near St. Louis.
Keating is the lead attorney on a class action lawsuit challenging the validity of Chicago’s behemoth of a red light camera enforcement program–a case which the Illinois Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday.
The lawsuit has been working its way up the legal food chain the past few years will get its proverbial day in court at the historical Ottawa Courthouse starting at 11 AM.
Depending on how they rule, the Supreme Court could open up Chicago to the possibility of having to refund tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars in red light camera fines collected over the years.
Chicago has bragging rights to having the nation’s and perhaps the world’s largest red light camera enforcement program. At its peak it had 384 cameras at 191 intersections and has generated over half a billion in revenue for the city over the past 11 years since it’s inception in 2003.
But Keating’s suit contends there are major legal flaws with Chicago’s red light camera enforcement–legal issues at odds with the Illinois constitution.
ABC 7 did an expose of the driving habits of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s motorcade racking up 17 red light camera violations or speed camera warnings over the past few years. Then this week, the U.S. Attorney indicted the former Chicago Department of Transportation manager who oversaw the city’s red light camera program for bribery.
Now this Saturday, Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras and Cook County Campaign for Liberty will be holding an anti-camera enforcement protest in Lincoln Park at the busy intersection of Fullerton & Ashland.
This particular Northside intersection is one of a handful citywide which boasts both red light camera and speed camera enforcement nearby.
A former Chicago Department of Transportation manager who oversaw the city’s red light camera program was arrested this morning and indicted for accepting bribes to help Redflex Traffic Systems secure $124 million in contracts.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, John Bills allegedly accepted “cash and personal benefits totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars” from Redflex which included a $177,000 condominium located in Arizona.
Bills, 52, of Chicago, was charged with one count of federal program bribery in a criminal complaint that was filed Tuesday and unsealed today. Bills was scheduled to appear at 3 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in Federal Court.
Bribery convictions carry a maximum 10 year sentence.
Bills retired from his position as managing deputy commissioner for CDOT in 2011 and managed the city’s red light camera program since it’s inception in 2003. Bills also served as a member of the committee which evaluated city contracted which included the red light camera contract awarded to Redflex.