Red-light camera scandal update: John Bills admits immoral acts, gets 10 years behind bars
Fourth Estate Staff
Chicago, IL, United States (4E) – The former Chicago official who is involved in the red-light camera scandal will be sentenced on Monday after he admitted that he did immoral acts.
The official, John Bills, is set to get a 10-year minimum prison sentenced. Initially, he and his defense team have requested for a lesser jail time, which is around three to four years. He was a top official in the Department of Transportation in Chicago and was convicted in January. He faced 20 counts for receiving bribes to help Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. obtain red-light camera contracts with the city. Some of the charges were tax evasion, conspiracy, extortion, bribery, and wire and mail fraud.
Bills is also required to pay $2 million in restitution. Bills reportedly choked in the courtroom and apologized for his actions. He said that being involved in the scandal brought shame to his family. Bills also told U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall that he is still trying to come to terms with how he threw away a great job that provided for his family. He admitted that he made immoral acts but declined that he is the mastermind behind the red-light camera scandal. Shortly after apologizing, the sentence was announced.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement regarding the sentencing of Bills, “More than a decade ago, John Bills and Redflex broke the law and violated the public trust – and those actions have consequences. I immediately fired Redflex four years ago and now Mr. Bills will also pay the price for his role.” Chicago terminated its contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. in 2013.
Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. showered Bills with more than $560,000 in cash bribes. Accordingly, Bills was given up to $2,000 per red-light camera installed under his watch. The company also gave Bills thousands of dollars via cars, condominium, hotel stays, and vacations.