John Bills, a retired City Hall official, took bribes — including an Arizona condo and a used Mercedes — to steer Chicago’s lucrative red light contract to Redflex Traffic Systems.
Bills ran the red light program for nearly a decade and took bribes from Redflex worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In exchange, he steered $124 million in city contracts to the company, a federal complaint unsealed Wednesday alleges.
The bribes included a $177,000 condominium, cash handouts and a retirement party for Bills, who worked for the city for 32 years before retiring as managing deputy commissioner of the city’s transportation department. In addition to managing the city’s red light program, he served as a member of the city’s contract evaluation committee.
The revelations are not suprising to many who have long argued that red light cameras are about money rather than safety.