Monday, August 29, 2016

Chicago Corruption Update: Key figure in red light cameras scandal faces sentencing today

The Chicago Tribune reports:
With his sentencing scheduled for Monday morning, the central figure in a massive corruption scheme that brought traffic cameras to Chicago remains adamant about taking his silence with him to federal prison for what could be as long as two decades.

John Bills, 55, who rose through City Hall as part of the political patronage army of longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan, faces between 10 and 30 years in prison for taking up to $2 million in cash bribes and gifts in exchange for helping grow the city's $600 million red light camera program into the largest in the nation.

The scheme was first exposed by the Chicago Tribune in 2012.
There's more:
Scientists from Texas A&M University, using data collected by the Tribune, found that up to 40 percent of the cameras Bills was bribed to install are making intersections more dangerous. While the cameras were responsible for a 22 percent increase in rear-end accidents involving injuries, the corresponding reduction in T-bone crashes at those intersections is negligible, the study found.

Yet the Emanuel administration has refused to remove most of those cameras, undermining its long-standing contention that the cameras were more about safety than revenue.
Don't you be a science denier.