The Redflex Bribery Scandal Reaches Ohio
It’s the kind of disgraceful corruption that would have seen its perpetrators swinging from a tree in a more forthright age: an alleged $2 million bribery program that has already seen a Redflex consultant plead guilty to charges of delivering over $570,000 in cash and other bribes to Chicago’s former managing deputy commissioner of transportation. (Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who was long, ahem, a tireless ally of Redflex before reluctantly ending the city contract with the firm when all the evidence on the issue because too obvious to be ignored any further, was re-elected in a runoff election recently.)
But the blood-soaked hands of Redflex, whose cameras often increase accidents at the intersections where they are making money for the company, have been putting money in other pockets outside Chicagoland.
Insofar as anybody with two eyes and a functioning cerebrum has been able to figure out for a long time just how corrupt the red-light-camera business is, the various disclaimers from the Democratic Party of Ohio and Redflex itself make for fascinating, almost hilarious, reading.
Quoth Redflex spokes-critter Tilden Katz: “The government’s actions are not a reflection of today’s Redflex, they are a reflection on the company’s past — a past that the company moved beyond over two years ago by taking specific, strong steps to improve compliance.” It was, like, totally about two years ago! The distant past! Mistakes were made! Just censure us and let’s move on!
Now for quotes from Mr. Ginther and the Party:
“I had absolutely no knowledge of these activities and did not take part in them,” Ginther said in a statement released by his campaign. “While I am not a subject of this inquiry, I have been asked to provide records that may help the investigation into Redflex. I’ve fully cooperated and will continue to assist in bringing these people to justice.”
Federal investigators also asked for state Democratic Party records.
“A few days ago, the Ohio Democratic Party was asked to produce documents going back a number of years, and we are in the process of complying with that request,” spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis said in a statement.
You do that, Andy G! You bring these people to justice! You’re a regular Bobby Kennedy!
We can give the last word to a member of the loyal opposition, quoted in the Columbus Dispatch:
State Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican and vocal opponent of red-light cameras, called on cities using the devices to immediately end their lawsuit against the state, apologize to the General Assembly and refund fines to drivers. One of those drivers would be Seitz, fined for running a red light in Columbus.
“We always knew it wasn’t about public safety. It was about money; we just didn’t know it was about shady money,” Seitz said in a statement.
“(Friday’s) criminal case proves how right I was, even though I never dreamed that municipal officials would take bribes to fleece their own taxpayers.”
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