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Redflex ‘consultant’ pleads guilty in Chicago red light camera bribe case

Image courtesy of the RedflexMartin O’Malley, an agent for Redflex Traffic Systems, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of conspiracy to bribe a Chicago official.

O’Malley, 73, was a “consultant” for Redflex when it won a contract to provide and operate Chicago’s red light cameras in 2003.

Prosecutors said O’Malley gave cash and perks to John Bills, Chicago’s former managing deputy commissioner for transportation.

Bills, 53, was indicted in August on nine counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, three counts of bribery, three counts of filing a false income tax return, one count of conspiracy to commit extortion and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

O’Malley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. He has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors against Bills and former Redflex CEO Karen Finlay. He won’t be sentenced until their cases are over, the Chicago Tribune said. Both have denied any role in the bribery.

Finley, 54, of Cave Creek, Arizona, was indicted on nine counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, three counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

The Redflex system in Chicago generated nearly $500 million in $100 tickets, becoming the biggest red-light camera operation in the United States.

The company ran the program until March 2014.

O’Malley admitted at a plea hearing that he gave to Bills nearly $2 million he received from Redflex.

Proscutors said Bills received a $177,000 condo, Super Bowl tickets, golf outings, a boat, his children’s school fees, his girlfriend’s mortgage, and fees for his divorce lawyer.

O’Malley admitted that Bills had got him the job with Redflex and then demanded the kickbacks.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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