The scandal involving Australian red light and speed camera provider Redflex has taken a turn this week, with the company’s ex-Chief Executive in the US now facing conspiracy charges.
News of the scandal broke in the Chicago Tribune in late 2012, with US$2 million (AU$2.15 million) in bribes allegedly offered to city officials in Chicago to secure a contract and grow it into America’s largest speed and red light camera program.
Midway through last year, the scandal reached Australia when it was revealed the New South Wales Government’s extensively expanded mobile speed camera program had been retendered, after the contract was initially awarded to Redflex.
Now Federal authorities in the US have formally charged Redflex’s ex-CEO Karen Finley, Chicago city manager John Bills (in May) and Bill’s friend and former Redflex consultant Martin O’Malley.
Charges for Finley and Bills include nine counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and three counts of bribery, while Finley is facing three counts of conspiracy to commit bribery and Bills is charged with filing a false tax return.
Bills is also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit extortion and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, while O'Malley is facing the single change of conspiracy to commit bribery.
Finley is one of six former executives sacked by Redflex over the scandal, while O’Malley was allegedly tagged as the initial recipient of bribe monies eventually intended for Bills.
Bills’ lawyer maintains his client has been pressured to cooperate with authorities against Redflex, while both Bills and O’Malley deny any wrongdoing.
Finley’s lawyer said his client will enter a plea of not guilty when the case goes to court, although a date is yet to be set.