Redflex accused of bribing officials

Company contracts with city of Jacksonville for its red-light cameras

By Scott Johnson - Reporter , Elizabeth Berry

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The company that contracts with Duval County for red-light cameras is in hot water after a story out of Chicago, where the company, Redflex, is accused of bribing public officials to install the red-light cameras.

The bribery scandal has raised a lot of eyebrows in Jacksonville.

The red-light camera trend is big business and as of Friday people will see tickets from the red-light cameras that went up on Blanding Boulevard and Youngerman Circle; Redflex installed those cameras.

The latest controversy stems from Redflex, which contracts with the city of Jacksonville for its cameras. The company is now at the center of a lawsuit that claims the company bribed city officials in different parts of the country where their cameras exist.

The suit brings up a meeting with city leads in 2006, well before Jacksonville decided to install the red-light cameras around town.

"That's disturbing. I guess that's what can happen when those kinds of controls are put in place. There's always opportunity for abuse, so that's disturbing," said driver Bill DeConna.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office responded to this story, telling Channel 4, "Sheriff Rutherford does not recall attending the dinner or breakfast meeting referenced in the claim, nor does he have any documents regarding such meetings."

This isn't the first time in recent weeks a red-light camera contractor has made news. Only weeks ago Channel 4 told viewers about American Traffic Solutions, an Arizona company that contracts the lights for Clay County.

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American Traffic Solutions put out statistics about how the cameras were improving public safety. The stats were immediately questioned by local State Rep. Janet Atkins, who is fighting red-light cameras.

"To say that when you have such a small data sample in such a short amount of time red-light cameras have been in Florida, to say that it's all because of red-light cameras is disingenuous and wrong," said Adkins.

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