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An obvious conflict of interest that obviously needs addressing

Monday, Nov 18, 2019

* Joe Mahr at the Tribune

SafeSpeed came to dominate the suburban red-light camera market during the last decade by developing deep relationships with public officials.

Consider the company’s dealings in southwest suburban Justice, where court records show the firm not only was getting a new contract but was enlisting the police chief to act as a consultant to get other towns to do the same for a cut of the proceeds.

SafeSpeed officials instructed him to invite fellow police chiefs to hear a red-light camera presentation at a River North Brazilian steakhouse. Later, records show, the chief had a meeting at a Countryside cigar shop with SafeSpeed officials, including its rainmaker, Omar Maani. As the meeting wrapped up, the police chief had a couple questions: Were his business cards ready? And could he get one of the company’s red polo shirts to wear when he pitched their business to his fellow police chiefs?

Justice officials would fire their top cop, Robert Gedville, for what they said was an obvious conflict of interest, soon after the Tribune disclosed his dealings with the village’s red-light vendor in 2012.

Go read the rest.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments »
  1. - Romeo - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    The red light cameras are awful. The worst is the intersection of IL-83 and 22nd Street in Oak Brook/Oakbrook Terrace. OBT put up cameras in eastbound 22nd Street and southbound 83 (people going to/from the Oak Brook Mall). OBT & Oak Brook seem to have an adversarial relationship, as OBT didn’t tell Oak Brook. I believe Oak Brook complained to the state, but unfortunately OBT was found to have properly installed the cameras.

    Long story short: these cameras cause more accidents, have no accountability and are huge conflicts of interest for police chiefs serving as consultants. I’m not a fan of prohibition, but these cameras just simply need to go.


  2. - independent - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    I read the whole article and have been following this story for weeks. I am shocked that none of these agents or elected officials thought they weren’t doing anything wrong. At the very least they knew it was unethical getting money per ticket let alone illegal. Wait till all the law suits and class actions get filed the monetary losses to these villages and safe speed will be astronomical


  3. - Dee Lay - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    How much longer until the ILGA outlaws Red Light cameras?


  4. - A guy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    The Obvious isn’t Obvious to everyone, especially if you’re an obvious beneficiary of these shutter bandits.


  5. - Wiley Coyote - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    And the lobsters for the red light camera companies testified in committee that it was all about safety. And then the reps and senators who testified on the floor that it was all about safety. And the law enforcement groups who said the same thing. One of the better scams to come out of the General Assembly. This will be fun to watch…..


  6. - Just Saying - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 4:38 pm:

    I got a ticket at a red light camera and I proved it was rigged. A year later it was agreed that it was rigged and of the initial $100 ticket, I was given back $20; they kept $80 for their costs. This though was in St. Louis; but still, this kind of stuff needs to go.


  7. - NorthsideNoMore - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 9:14 am:

    Years ago several towns were sold on the cameras until they got so much backlash locally that they removed them. And yes they did cause a bunch of fender benders when people jammed on the breaks


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