Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bag Man In Chicago Red Light Camera Bid-Rigging Scandal Agrees To Plead Guilty

Martin O'Malley (Photo: Al Podgorski/Sun-Times)
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that federal prosecutors in Chicago have secured cooperation and a guilty plea from a key player in the scheme Redflex Traffic Systems allegedly engaged to win a lucrative contract to operate the City's red light camera system. Martin O'Malley, a "consultant" hired by Redflex, has told prosecutors he funneled about $2 million worth of goodies to a key city employee, John Bills, to win contracts worth $124 million for Redflex, including a condominium, a boat, golf outings, his children's tuition, his girlfriend's mortgage, Super Bowl tickets and even the attorney's fees to handle his divorce.

Redflex' former CEO, Karen Finlay, has also been charged in the scheme, along with Bills, both of whom maintain their innocence. A former sales executive for Redflex, Aaron Rosenberg, has been an instrumental whistle blower in the case. He claims Redflex doled out bribes to municipal officials as a matter of course to win contracts in more than a dozen states.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Illinois has agreed to appoint a monitor to review all hiring decisions at the Illinois Department of Transportation after an Inspector General's report uncovered the hiring of dozens of political hacks for made-up "staff assistant" jobs that required little or no work at the state agency but paid quite well.

Is Illinois really that much more corrupt than Indiana? Not hardly. It's just that for some reason the Land of Lincoln has some newspapers which still act as watchdogs for the public and federal prosecutors who make an effort to keep things in check, something sorely missing here in the Hoosier State. I've said it before and it bears repeating. I encourage all of those corrupt pols up in Chicago to come on down and ply your trade here. It's much easier to operate with impunity in our state.


Anonymous said...

Is Chicago just too big to smother the press?

What occurs in Illinois is no worse than Indiana, but there is a gag order on dirty dealings in the Indiana media.

The Chicago boys would have green pastures down here to do all manner of graft, and nobody would know or care about it, not even the U.S. Attorney.

Chicago has better art and restaurants, but Indy is the major leagues in government corruption.

Anonymous said...

IndyStar is openly talking about Ballard not running.

Dudich was just named Chief of Staff, an easy appointment for a lame-duck mayor. The very sort of thing best kept for a Friday afternoon release.