A now former CEO of a red-light camera firm now has a $2 million fine and is sentenced to 30 months in prison after being caught red-handed bribing public officials in two states.
Karen Finley, the former chief executive of Redflex Traffic Systems, an Australia-based company, was found guilty of paying off a Chicago official in order to help her company win contracts for the installation of these red-light cameras.
Finley had already been serving a 14-month sentence for her role in bribing a public official in Ohio and has now doubled her prison sentence.
A four-year investigation by the Chicago Tribune, prompted a probe by Chicago’s Office of Inspector General, exposed this bribery scheme, as well as the mismanagement of cameras and related safety issues. The investigation showed illegal bribery in the form of paid vacations, meals and golf trips.
Finley paid off John Bills, the second highest official in Chicago’s Transportation Department, to direct tens of millions in city funds to Reflex. Bills was also found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Martin O’Malley, a friend of Bills’, was also found guilty for being put on the Redflex payroll as part of the scam, according to prosecutors.
“Such a procurement-based kickback scheme would be nearly impossible today,” according to a Chicago OIG spokesperson. “Better contract management by the user department would have sniffed out red flags, but not the scheme itself.”
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