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John Bills at federal court in Chicago (Brian Jackson/ for the Sun-Times)
John Bills at federal court in Chicago (Brian Jackson/ for the Sun-Times)

Former City Hall Insider Found Guilty In Chicago’s Red-Light Scandal

Via Chicago Sun Times:

After less than a full day of deliberation, jurors on Tuesday found a former City Hall insider guilty of rigging Chicago’s red-light camera contracts in return for lavish gifts and cash bribes.

Federal prosecutors spent two weeks arguing John Bills helped Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. cheat its way into $131 million in red-light camera contracts between 2002 and 2011. In return, the Arizona company showered him with more than $18,000 in posh hotel stays, fancy dinners and other gifts. It also hired a buddy of Bills’ to pass him $560,000 in bribes, they said.

Bills’ defense attorney, Nishay Sanan, said those bribes really went to lobbyists with ties to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Mayor Richard M. Daley, who then funneled the cash “upstairs.” But U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon called that “malarkey” in his rebuttal argument Monday. Chicago’s top fed personally helped prosecute the former Chicago Department of Transportation assistant commissioner for fraud, extortion, bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and filing false tax returns. Bills was found guilty of all counts.

About Rebecca Lawrence

Rebecca Lawrence is a freelancer in Brooklyn, NY. She is owned by two blind cats. Tweet at her @rebeccalawrence

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