Red Light Camera Exec Admits To Bribery Of Public Officials

Over the past decade or so, unless you’ve been a pedestrian, it is highly probable that you’ve encountered intersection red light cameras. They have grown in use dramatically since New York City implemented the nations first system in 1993. Originally touted for safety, instead Red Light cameras have become nothing but cash machines for city and state authorities.

Now, it has been admitted that Redflex, one of the nations largest Red Light Camera companies, bribed public officials in return for implementing red light camera systems in their towns. In a release issued Friday, the prosecutors pursuing the case against Redflex executives and agents, revealed that the former CEO of Redflex, Karen Finley, has pled guilty to charges of bribery.

From December 2005 to February 2013, Finley served as CEO of a red light camera enforcement company. As part of her plea agreement, Finley admitted that, between 2005 and 2013, she participated in a scheme in which the company made campaign contributions to elected public officials in the cities of Columbus and Cincinnati through a consultant retained by the company. According to admissions made in connection with her plea, Finley and others, including another executive of the company, agreed to provide the conduit campaign contributions with the understanding that the elected public officials would assist the company in obtaining or retaining municipal contracts, including a photo red light enforcement contract with the City of Columbus. Finley also admitted she and her co-conspirators concealed the true nature and source of the payments by the consultant’s submission and the company’s payment of false invoices for “consulting services,” which funds the consultant then provided to the campaigns of the elected public officials.

Finley had already been found guilty for bribing an Ohio politician with automobile and condo access.

This is what happens when you privatize civic functions. The incentive becomes to generate revenue, not to do the job, and that opens the door for greed to set in. What is remarkable in this case is not that bribery happened, but that so little of it has yet been revealed. What we can expect is for far more to appear in the future.

Cover PD Image from Wikimedia Commons