* 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.
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