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IDOT finally takes action against Oakbrook Terrace’s red-light cams

Friday, May 13, 2022

* Tribune

Amid a federal corruption probe and a threatened lawsuit, the state has ordered red-light cameras at one of suburban Chicago’s busiest intersections to be turned off.

The Illinois Department of Transportation confirmed Thursday it revoked the operating permit for Oakbrook Terrace’s cameras, at Illinois Highway 83 and 22nd Street. But the reason given by IDOT had nothing to do with federal allegations the west suburb’s former mayor took bribes to greenlight the cameras, or with threats from a neighboring suburb that it would sue IDOT to get the cameras removed.

IDOT said Oakbrook Terrace hadn’t followed state requirements on submitting periodic reports documenting that the cameras had improved safety — requirements that the Tribune previously found IDOT had long failed to enforce.

Oakbrook Terrace, in a press release issued late Thursday, blamed IDOT for not releasing crash data in time for it to do the study

* ABC 7

Plastic bags have been placed over the cameras at Route 83 and 22nd Street. […]

Former Mayor Anthony Ragucci recently pleaded not guilty on charges he took bribes from a red light camera company.

* CBS 2

The charges do not identify the red-light camera company involved in the case, but according to published reports, the company is SafeSpeed, which has been connected to multiple other cases involving SafeSpeed representatives paying bribes to local politicians.

SafeSpeed has denied any wrongdoing, saying any bribes offered by former employees or representatives were made without the company’s knowledge.

* Meanwhile…

…Adding… Good points…

State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) has issued the following statement in response to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s announcement that the permit to operate red light cameras at Illinois Highway 83 in Oakbrook Terrace has been revoked:

“I appreciate that this justifiably vilified camera finally is going through the removal process. But it is baffling that IDOT cannot acknowledge the real reason why this camera should have been scrutinized and removed long ago: because it was specifically mentioned in a federal indictment involving red light camera public corruption for Democratic Senator Marty Sandoval. I also have repeatedly urged IDOT to conduct this review because this camera didn’t just fail to deliver improved public safety, it potentially was the cause of increased accidents.

IDOT expects us to believe that it is just a coincidence that the bureaucracy has belatedly reviewed the paperwork for compliance. In reality, given the recent criminal charges filed by the federal authorities against the former Mayor of Oakbrook Terrace involving this very camera, this has become a political embarrassment for IDOT and Governor Pritzker, who has let this sit for years. Various Democratic legislators are also about to face the voters during primary season. People want to know why Democrats’ prior promises to end red light cameras have gone unfilled, and why they have not enacted my common-sense legislation to target those involved with public corruption.

Further, by stubbornly refusing to concede the real reason behind this camera’s removal, IDOT is sidestepping two critical issues: first, how and why IDOT permitted this particular corrupt camera installation; and second, how and why red light cameras throughout the suburbs have been repeatedly tied to federal public corruption charges. Until IDOT can come clean, these cameras are going to continue to be tainted, and rightly viewed with suspicion until real reform legislation is put in place.”

* Related…

Key player in corruption case that led to Madigan indictment set for sentencing in August - Chinatown developer See Y. Wong wore a wire for the feds in an effort to get leniency in an unrelated wire fraud case.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - vern - Friday, May 13, 22 @ 12:15 pm:

    === requirements that the Tribune previously found IDOT had long failed to enforce ===

    I’m glad IDOT found a tool to shut this particular racket down, but stories of this theme seem to be piling up lately. At this point it’s been decades since we had a Governor who seemed consistently enthusiastic about agency-level improvement. Even with the macro fiscal situation improving, someone needs to be in charge of the boring details. I think Pritzker is the best Governor we’ve had in a long while, but he’s gotta get rid of his blind spots in the executive branch. I wonder how much Deputy Governor-level turnover we’re likely to see in a second term.

  2. - Amalia - Friday, May 13, 22 @ 12:32 pm:

    mob adjacent. avoid.

  3. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, May 13, 22 @ 12:38 pm:

    Talk about skimming…is this a taste of Vegas in Oakbrook Terrace?

    Will these mopes ever learn?

  4. - Anyone Remember - Friday, May 13, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===Even with the macro fiscal situation improving, someone needs to be in charge of the boring details.===

    There was also a pandemic to deal with.

  5. - park - Friday, May 13, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    Finally. the GA could have stopped this earlier. Now we need some guilty verdicts and a class action against Oakbrook Terrace.

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