With Mayor Scott Cosper’s affirmative vote, the deadlocked Killeen City Council on Tuesday narrowly approved an enforcement measure for drivers who receive citations from red-light cameras throughout the city.

Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Blackstone and Councilmen Wayne Gilmore and Jose Segarra voted in favor of adding the enforcement measure, which will put a hold on a violator’s vehicle registration if the violator doesn’t pay a citation issued from the city’s red-light cameras.

Councilmen Jonathan Okray, Steve Harris and Terry Clark voted against the amendment. Cosper broke the 3-3 tie with a vote in favor of the measure.

Councilman Juan Rivera was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

The Texas Transportation Code, under Scofflaw, allows the city to put a hold on the vehicle registration of a motorist with outstanding fines. State law forbids municipalities from putting holds on driver’s licenses, and only allows for a hold on vehicles registered in Texas.

Clark, who has adamantly opposed the measure since it was introduced to the council during a Nov. 4 workshop meeting, said he doesn’t support the city doing business with RedFlex — the company that operates and maintains the cameras — at all.

“They’re losing the public’s trust nationwide,” Clark said. “I cannot, and will not, support the city of Killeen getting involved with a company that seems to be getting sketchier with each news report that comes out.”

In January, RedFlex found itself at the center of a scandal alleging the company used bribes to gain municipal contracts.

City officials told the Herald that Killeen “has not experienced any improprieties” with the company.

Jerris Mapes, assistant city attorney, said the program had a 63 percent collection rate from January to June, and as of Sept. 30, there were more than $4.6 million in outstanding violations.

“A rule, or law, that is not enforced is most likely not going to be obeyed, especially with time, once people learn it’s not going to be enforced,” she said. “It gets back to the heart of the issue, which is that if we enforce it, then we’re going to get compliance. If we get compliance, then we’ll get safer streets.”

Killeen’s red-light camera program was implemented in 2008, and since then the number of citations has decreased annually, with the exception of a spike in 2012, according to previous Herald reports.

The city collects nearly $300,000 annually from citations issued through the red-light program.

Contact Natalie Stewart at nstewart@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7555

(4) comments

Bubba

You do not have the legal authority to fine me without a trial. You do not have the legal authority to put a hold on any of MY property without a trial.

Should it come to pass that you attempt this, I will sue you all individually, as well as the city, and you will need a wheelbarrow to carry the zeroes on my damages complaint.

nulisecundus

[sad]except for two members, the rest of the council is a joke, Cosper is most of all moron and idiot.

Eliza


What really is amazing but again not so much , is its usually the same group on the city council, that continues to stick together in favor of principals that a majority of the citizens, would be against.
Its almost like they can't do any individual thinking for themselves about right or wrong.

The Redflex Company has a bad reputation for a long time though out the country and whoever wanted to have the City of Killeen and its citizens, become involved with them, aren't thinking rationally I would believe.

The Red Light 'bandit' situation and the citizens of Killeen, would be an excellent program to use, for someone in the future, to run against anyone on the council at this time who voted in favor there of .

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Watchdog: Red light bribe scandal could be widespread

Fired Redflex exec names 13 other states, says he's aiding federal inquiry
January 23, 2014|By David Kidwell, Tribune reporter

Redflex Traffic Systems, headquartered in this Phoenix building, says the officials associated with the bribery scandal no longer work for the company.

Redflex Traffic Systems, headquartered in this Phoenix building, says the officials associated with the bribery scandal no longer work for the company. (JOSHUA LOTT, Chicago Tribune)

A fired executive of Chicago's beleaguered red light camera company alleges in a lawsuit that Redflex Traffic Systems doled out bribes and gifts at "dozens of municipalities" in 13 other states and says he is cooperating in an ongoing federal investigation.

The explosive allegations, accompanied by few specifics, suggest investigators may be examining Redflex's business practices around the country in the wake of the company's admission last year that its flagship camera program in Chicago was likely built on a $2 million bribery scheme.

Aaron Rosenberg, who was the company's top national salesman, said in a civil defamation claim against Redflex that he was made a "scapegoat" to cover up a long-standing practice of "providing government officials with lavish gifts and bribes" after the Tribune began asking questions about the Chicago contract.

Redflex fired Rosenberg and sued him for damages in Arizona court in February, largely blaming him for the company's wrongdoing in Chicago. In a counterclaim filed in October, Rosenberg disclosed that he provided information to local and federal investigators as well as to the outside attorney who conducted a damaging private investigation of the company.

"I don't think it would come as a surprise to anyone involved in this case that my client is cooperating with federal authorities," James Burr Shields, who represents Rosenberg in the civil case, told the Tribune this week. He declined to elaborate.

Redflex filed a motion to dismiss part of his claim as legally deficient, and it declined to address the newspaper's questions about Rosenberg's specific allegations.

"Those responsible for violations of company policy and misconduct are no longer employed by the company. We are pleased that the market has responded favorably to our corrective actions and our continuing commitment to customer service: since March we have signed, renewed or executed over 90 contracts," Robert T. DeVincenzi, a board member and former CEO of Redflex Holdings Ltd., the Australian parent company, said in a statement issued by the company's North American headquarters in Phoenix.

Redflex lost its $100 million Chicago contract, its largest in North America, amid investigations triggered in 2012 by Tribune reports of a questionable relationship between the company and the longtime Chicago city official in charge of the red light program. But the company is still handling the city's red light camera operation thanks to a series of extensions while the city transitions to a new vendor.

The scandal prompted the company to jettison six of its top executives. One of them was Rosenberg, the company's former executive vice president. In its lawsuit, Redflex accused Rosenberg of a "protracted and covert scheme" to misappropriate company funds.

In his counterclaim against Redflex, Rosenberg said he was simply "carrying out orders" and that other company executives also participated in a "pattern and practice" of wooing potential clients with perquisites including meals, golf outings, professional football and baseball games — all covered under a liberal company policy for "entertainment" expenses.

"A budget for these items was approved, and there was never a distinction between these types of entertainments and expenses that are considered gratuities and bribes," Rosenberg alleged in the filing.

Rosenberg said that during his tenure Redflex "bestowed gifts and bribes on company officials in dozens of municipalities within, but not limited to the following states: California, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico,**** Texas, **** Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia."

Attached as exhibits in Rosenberg's pleadings are emails about a Redflex-funded $3,235.74 steak dinner during the 2006 Florida League of Cities conference that was attended by more than a dozen government officials who heard a Redflex pitch. In many jurisdictions, paying for meals is a permitted, though regulated, lobbying practice.

Redflex does not have contracts with many of the jurisdictions whose officials were identified in Rosenberg's exhibit. The company has more than 200 government clients around the United States. It has faced scrutiny from some of those clients and had its pitches rejected by other governments in the wake of the revelations.

The company acknowledged last year it was investigating further wrongdoing "in two other geographies" besides Chicago. A source familiar with the investigations confirmed that one of those places is Jefferson Parish, La., where parish officials shut down the red light program in 2010 amid a separate corruption scandal involving a lobbyist who worked for Redflex and numerous other clients.

Nothing in Rosenberg's filings help detail the allegations in Chicago now at the center of the federal investigation.

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Redflex operations
Redflex operates primarily in Australia and the United States of America, and was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in January 1997.[1] Redflex Holdings consists of two distinct companies; Redflex Traffic Systems Pty. Ltd. covering Australia and global operations and Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. covering the US market. The company works with partners in other countries, such as China Tel Group in the Peoples Republic of China.

Redflex is based in South Melbourne, Victoria where it runs its systems engineering operation as well as its system integration and research and development programs.

In 2011, Redflex was the subject of a failed A$303.5 million hostile takeover bid by the Macquarie Group and Carlyle Group.

There is debate and ongoing research about the use of red light camera systems provided by organisations such as Redflex. Authorities cite public safety as the primary reason that the cameras are installed, while opponents contend their use is more for financial gain than for safety. Opposition to traffic enforcement cameras owned by Redflex has resulted in their removal in some cities, including Austin Texas.


Chicago scandal

In late 2010, Redflex executives were implicated in a bribery scandal in Chicago, Illinois. Following up on a letter from a whistleblower, the Chicago Tribune reported that a Redflex 'consultant' had been making improper payments to a City of Chicago transportation official, John Bills, who was responsible for overseeing the awarding of contracts for the installation and operation of Chicago's widely-hated red light camera system. The consultant, Marty O'Malley, who was a long time friend of Bills hired to oversee the Chicago contract, had received US$570,000 in commissions for the contract which had provided approximately US$100 million in revenue for Redflex. A two-year internal investigation conducted by Redflex reported in October, 2012 that it had found only one instance of an inappropriate expenditure: a two-day hotel stay at the Arizona Biltmore for Bills, paid for by the consultant, who was subsequently sent for 'anti-bribery training'. The Chicago contract is the company's largest in North America. With 384 cameras it provides 13% of Redflex Holdings' worldwide revenue.[10]

After the Chicago Tribune continued to find more evidence of improprieties in the relationship between Redflex executives & consultants and Chicago officials, Redflex hired a "former Chicago inspector general, David Hoffman" to lead a new investigation.[10] On 8 February 2013, Redflex received notification from the City of Chicago's Department of Procurement Services that it will "not be considered a responsible vendor for the new RFP for red light cameras that the City intends to issue in the near future." In response, Redflex Holdings chairman of the Australian Board of Directors Max Findlay, board member Ian Davis and the company's top sales executive resigned after being blamed for the company's problems in Chicago. Hoffman's report, delivered to the Redflex board in February 2013, found that Redflex had, indeed, provided Bills with lavish vacations expensed directly on the expense report of Redflex Executive Vice-President Aaron Rosenberg, who had also 'gifted' Bills with trips to the Super Bowl and White Sox spring training over many years, valued at up to US$2 million. Hoffman also found that Redflex's president had knowledge of the arrangement and had lied to Chicago's administration about the extent of the wrongdoing.[13] On 20 February, Redflex fired Rosenberg and filed a lawsuit against him alleging "dishonest and unethical conduct".[11] In a 1 March email addressed to all employees, Redflex Holdings chief executive officer and President Robert DeVincenzi, who took over the company in September 2012, announced the resignations of three top executives in its Phoenix, Arizona headquarters: former President & CEO Karen Finley; Redflex's General Legal Counsel Andrejs Bunkse and Chief Financial Officer Sean Nolen. The company has 'taken steps' to improve its internal ethics by requiring its employees to take 'anti-bribery and anti-corruption training'.

The growing scandal has caused trading in Redflex shares to be halted twice already, according to the Chicago Tribune. In 2012, the company reported a net profit of $21.3 million; On 11 February 2013 Redflex announced the figure will be adjusted to US$5.5 million due to legal costs which, after taxes of US $6.2 million are paid, will likely result in the company posting a loss.

nulisecundus

I would be very surprised that this idiot council did not receive a bribe.Redflex was kicked out of Houston.

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