Sunday, June 21, 2015

Redflex Official's Guilty Plea Implicates Columbus And Cincinnati Officials In Bribery Scheme

An unsealed plea agreement involving a former executive of Redflex, the controversial red light camera company ensnared in a Chicago bribery scheme, has implicated city officials in Columbus and Cincinnati in a bribery scheme. Karen Finley, the former Redflex executive, admitted trading campaign contributions to certain officials in exchange for their support of red light camera legislation according to the unsealed federal indictment. Redflex sells red light camera technology, which it hoped to install in Columbus and Cincinnati once the legislation was approved.

The officials implicated in the bribery scandal were not identified in Finley's indictment, although the Columbus Dispatch speculates that City Council President Andrew Ginther, a Democratic candidate for mayor this year, is one of the unnamed officials in Finley's plea agreement. According to the plea agreement, Finley used its Ohio lobbyist as a conduit to funnel bribes to officials in both cities in the form of campaign contributions. The lobbyist issued phony consulting services invoices to Redflex, which were actually nothing more than reimbursements for campaign contributions.

The scheme outlined in the plea agreement fits a pattern commonly practiced here in Indiana where lobbyists who consistently make extremely large campaign contributions to certain elected officials are, in fact, acting as a conduit for well-heeled clients. Some prominent lobbyists in Indiana consistently shell out contributions ranging from the tens of thousands to well into the six-figure range. Campaign contributions are not tax-deductible, but outside lobbyists can issue phony invoices to their clients as a means of obtaining reimbursement for campaign contributions they make on their behalf without disclosing the true source of the campaign contributions. Corrupt politicians and their lobbying friends have nothing to fear here in Indiana though. Federal prosecutors in Indiana refuse to investigate this form of bribery, and there are no real investigative journalists left in the mainstream media to report on these illegal activities and put pressure on prosecutors to act.


Anonymous said...

All this should make Greg Ballard very, very nervous. Our megalomaniacal idiot mayor, who imported so much corruption from Chicago in terms of crony deals (can you say "Ballard made Marion County residents and visitors slaves to a 50 year ACS parking meter scam"?) and to his Administration's personnel pool... it's just a matter of time until our faux pro-gay rights faux anti-RFRA Manatee Mayor is rotting in a jail cell. Alone. And when that happens, Greg, trust me that KW, DB, or even BG will have completely forgotten your name. Drop the pie in the sky BS about running for state wide office- hard to do from a federal prison cell. VisionFleet and Mark Miles the down fall? Who knew....?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely correct on all points. Campaign dollars, some very large campaign contributions are given to politicians in exchange for influence on public works projects.

Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Only the most worthless America-hating scum would ever consider installing a red-light camera.

Red-light cameras should be banned everywhere, and any government official who approves a red-light camera should be given the same paralyzing spinal cord injury he's inflicting on others.

Anonymous said...

The Gannett-owned Cincinnati Inquirer is really downplaying this scandal. I guess I'm not surprised.