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Rate the SafeSpeed response to the Sandoval plea deal

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020

* Here you go…

We are shocked by the information in today’s plea agreement and the betrayal of public trust both by Sen. Sandoval and a person who had an interest in the company, who was not authorized by the company to engage in any illegal behavior or make any commitments or contributions on behalf of the company or its executives. It appears both individuals committed crimes without SafeSpeed’s knowledge and in violation not only of the law but of SafeSpeed’s culture. We are shocked and saddened by that allegation. We are fully committed to investigating these matters and sharing any information we find with federal authorities. We applaud the government for rooting out corruption.

You might want to read the recent open letter to Comptroller Susana Mendoza penned by SafeSpeed CEO Nikki Zollar before you proceed. Click here.

* Also, the government chose to include this passage in the plea deal

CW-1 told SANDOVAL that CW-1 had provided half of Company A’s annual campaign contribution, and SANDOVAL said it was not a problem for Company A’s President to break up the annual contribution into two contributions because CW-1 said Company A’s President did not want the contribution to “shout out,” meaning raise a red flag.

Keep in mind that people claiming things doesn’t mean somebody actually said what was claimed.

…Adding… Tribune

“I used my office as state senator to help SafeSpeed — er, company A … (and) be its protector in the Illinois Senate and influence other officials to roll out the red-light camera program in Illinois,” Sandoval said.

Prosecutors did not name the SafeSpeed representative who bribed Sandoval, referring to him in the plea agreement only as Cooperating Witness-1. Several sources familiar with the investigation identified the informant for the Tribune as Omar Maani, a Burr Ridge businessman who is one of SafeSpeed’s founders and biggest rainmakers.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

31 Comments
  1. - Steve - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 3:43 pm:

    There’s nothing more they really could have said. This isn’t an easy situation for any company to be in.


  2. - yeah - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    5/10

    In a vacuum, the score is much lower but I’m grading on a curve considering what a tough position the company is in.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    === We are fully committed to investigating these matters…===

    “We’ll take it from here”

    - FBI, maybe.


  4. - Don - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    While there is nothing else that could have been said, it would have been nice to hear them say “We did what we had to do to sell our product–bribing politicians in the price of doing business in Illinois; if we didn’t do it, then another company would have.” I mean, it would have hosed them, but at least it would be closer to the truth than what they said.


  5. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 3:49 pm:

    Rating: 5/5 baloney sandwiches.


  6. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    I give it a 7 out of 10.

    If you want to direct attention to CW-1, you have to give us a name. “CW-1 has been identified by news outlets as Omar Maani, a major Sandoval campaign donor.” Two point deduction.

    The first sentence is almost a run-on. I understand you want any quote to include the exculpatory phrase, but that quote is not gonna get printed with that phrase included. One point deduction.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    “We are shocked by the information in today’s plea agreement, we thought we had a fool-proof system, and shocked by the betrayal of Marty. Marty was a person who had an interest in the company, and an interest in making a couple bucks too. It was what it was.

    Marty was not authorized by the company to engage in any illegal behavior or make any commitments or contributions on behalf of the company or its executives, unless they were a ‘friend of ours’ and were part of the scam all along.

    It appears individuals committed crimes, and without SafeSpeed’s knowledge, and are gonna flip on folks that may have taken part in our sweet thing, in violation of SafeSpeed’s culture.

    We are shocked and saddened that it’s “all over”. We are fully committed to investigating these matters and sharing any information we find with federal authorities so we can get a choice seat on the bus of cooperation.

    We applaud the government for finding out for us who screwed this sweet deal up.

    - Not SafeSpeed, but total snark.


  8. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    ==We are shocked by the information…==

    Yeah, no. “Disappointed” perhaps, “embarrassed” hopefully, “dismayed” almost certainly. But “shocked”? Not bloody likely.


  9. - Regular democrat - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    Not sure how Zollar can claim total ignorance when she sees all the campaign cash gojng to Sandoval. This isn’t her first rodeo in Illinois.


  10. - fs - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:21 pm:

    “I am shocked- shocked- to find that gambling is going on in here”


  11. - Jocko - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:25 pm:

    “We are shocked that our bought (and paid for) senator refused to stay bought”


  12. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:34 pm:

    Unsafe… at any speed.


  13. - Father Ted - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:41 pm:

    These things are written by PR folks and then given to lawyers who completely rewrite them.
    Agree with the earlier point that it says everything that can be said, and I’ll add that it paints the picture of a bad actor working outside the company’s policies or knowledge. Who knows? Maybe it’s true.


  14. - May soon be required - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:48 pm:

    ==a person who had an interest in the company, who was not authorized by the company to engage in any illegal behavior==

    Do they have some associates that are authorized?


  15. - Alfred - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:48 pm:

    Sas level 10/10, addressing the topic 5/10


  16. - walker - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:55 pm:

    3/10. What controls will they put in to avoid being “shocked” in the future? e.g. accounting for the use of their own money, vetting their representatives, enforcing rules and policies. i.e. not deliberately turning a blind eye.


  17. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:58 pm:

    The Zollar dollar holler might spell collar.


  18. - Downstate - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:59 pm:

    May soon be required,
    Excellent point.

    A backup position will likely be “This specifically prohibited in our company handbook.”


  19. - Latina - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 5:01 pm:

    At the top of this criminal enterprise is slimy attorneys and the Mafia running the operation and their mistake was involving Sandoval 😊


  20. - Friendly Bob Adams - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 5:02 pm:

    SafeSpeed “culture”- really, Nikki???


  21. - ChrisB - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 5:15 pm:

    Captain Renault would be impressed.


  22. - SAP - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 5:34 pm:

    I’m Shocked, Cotton.


  23. - XonXoff - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 5:40 pm:

    1 of 5.

    == We are shocked by the information in today’s plea agreement… ==

    All I saw after that was the old meme of a dog on a couch with a ripped-up newspaper.
    “I’m just as surprised as you are.”
    Photo: https://twitter.com/K9Falo/status/660145630073876480/photo/1


  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 5:53 pm:

    Nikki Zollar is another bad penny.


  25. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 5:57 pm:

    The plea agreement says that Sandoval received $70K from a SafeSpeed cooperating witness. That’s a lot of money to have sitting in petty cash.


  26. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 7:19 pm:

    Nikki is lying


  27. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 7:53 pm:

    We applaud rooting out corruption in our office


  28. - Rich Hill - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 8:43 pm:

    I rate this response We’ll Always Have Paris.


  29. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 10:24 pm:

    === penned by SafeSpeed CEO Nikki Zollar ===

    That letter reads like someone who thinks they’re safe from consequences because they’ve bought the right politicians who drafted it unaware that those politicians don’t want to die in prison in order to preserve SafeSpeed Culture.


  30. - Responsa - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 8:14 am:

    ==- May soon be required - Tuesday, Jan 28, 20 @ 4:48 pm:
    ..”a person who had an interest in the company, who was not authorized by the company to engage in any illegal behavior”

    Do they have some associates that are authorized?==

    Heh. Good catch on a very, very ill-thought out statement by safespeed.


  31. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 8:18 am:

    It’s also worth noting that this is a company with less than 200 employees not a publicly traded or multi-national organization that can claim that it can’t possibly know when an employee goes rogue. It specifically markets itself to “small to mid-size” municipalities. Given the size of the organization and the target market, the CEO should be expected to have day to day knowledge of business development efforts and guard against the potential for this type of conduct. While they have every right to prove otherwise, the facts are suggesting that the behavior may have been institutionalized.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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