With cities more and more feeling the pinch, there is an increasing reliance on “red light cameras” and other automated systems to provide needed revenues for city services. As you might expect, though, with any pot of public funds comes the temptation to purchase influence.

Redflex, an Australian company that contacts to provide traffic cam systems to a number of municipalities across the US, has recently come under investigation for bribery in it’s Chicago operation. The City of Chicago has moved to discontinue its contract with Redflex and disqualify them from bidding on future contracts.

While Redflex has admitted to a single inappropriate expenditure of $910 for a hotel room for a City of Chicago employee, the real outrage stems from over $2 million paid over 4 years to a consultant whose main purpose seemed to be keeping the Chicago official in charge of the traffic cam project well entertained.

Of course, I’m shocked, shocked to hear reports of corruption in the City of Chicago. They just got turfed out of a Florida jurisdiction because of the corruption.  But Redflex currently has contracts with a number of Washington and Oregon cities, it may be a good time to review Redflex’s operations to make sure nothing illegal is going on here.

[featured image: Creative Commons usage, gsbrown99]