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Court filings allege gifts, bribes from red-light camera company

Reported by: Sam King
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Updated: 1/30 7:44 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A fired sales executive at Redflex Traffic Systems claims he was following orders when he bribed and paid for gifts and dinners for officials in order to obtain contracts. Redflex is the company that runs Jacksonville’s red-light camera program.

The allegations were first reported by the Chicago Tribune. Its reporting led to an internal investigation by Redflex that revealed that some employees may have used bribes to get Chicago's lucrative red-light camera contract.

Aaron Rosenberg, the company’s former executive vice-president for sales, was fired and sued after company officials blamed him for the scandal. In his countersuit, he claims he was just following orders to shower lavish gifts and bribes on local officials in 13 states including Florida.

“Redflex Traffic Systems denies the allegations in the counterclaim which are from Aaron Rosenberg, a former executive vice president, terminated for violating company policies and procedures,” said Jody Ryan, director of communications for Redflex Traffic Systems. “Redflex will aggressively defend itself against the allegations as well as prosecute its claims against the former executive. We are committed to transparency and honesty in our business practices. Our focus continues to be on providing best in class customer service and technology to our clients to make their communities safer.”

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office fired back at claims a lavish dinner in 2006 led to the approval of Redflex as Jacksonville’s red-light camera provider.

“Sheriff Rutherford does not recall attending the dinner or breakfast meeting referenced in the claim, nor does he have any documents regarding such meetings,” said Lauri-Ellen Smith, with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in a statement to Action News. “The actual award of the contract did not occur until five years later, in 2011, and was the result of a full and open RFP (request for proposals), conforming precisely to the requirements of Florida law and the City of Jacksonville procurement code.”

Smith said the office has asked for more information about the meals in question.

Action News legal analyst Randy Reep said vendors paying for meals is not necessarily illegal, but the appearance of impropriety is another black eye for the red-light camera program.

A hearing over whether to dismiss the counterclaim is set for next week in Arizona, where the suit was filed. The case could go to trial later this year, if there is no settlement.

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Grumpy Old Man - 1/31/2014 9:29 AM
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If the Sheriff does not want to be bothered to enforce the laws, then we need a new Sheriff who will. It is WRONG to pass out law enforcement duties to a private for-profit company. This company, and its competitors have a well-documented history of tweaking timings to increase violations. That detracts from safety. They also issue their citations to the OWNER of the vehicle, not the driver. So, they are issuing citations that they KNOW are bogus. They pay an off-duty officer to rubber stamp the resulting violations, which is of course just a shame to give some appearance of legality to what is clearly an unconstitutional process. The whole concept is unAmerican. The elected officials who authorized this deal should be ashamed of themselves.
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