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Redflex Deal Was Greased

Redflex Deal Was Greased

'Auditors found that the people involved in the "glad handing' had retired or left city employment

BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI

City auditors found violations of city policy but no criminal wrongdoing in an investigation of Redflex, the company that operated Albuquerque’s redlight and speed cameras from 2004 to 2011.

The investigation was requested by City Councilor Dan Lewis after news reports that Redflex had bribed municipal officials around the country to win redlight contracts.

In a lawsuit, an executive at Redflex, Aaron Rosenberg, alleged he was a top salesman for five years from 2008 to 2013 and that Redflex has been bribing and giving gifts to city officials throughout the United States, including officials in Chicago, Arizona, Ohio and New Mexico.

Six executives have been fired since 2013, with six separate indictments spanning from 2006 to 2015.

The investigation by Albuquerque’s internal auditor found that Redflex spent about $1,425 on meals, hotel accommodations and golf equipment benefitting civilian and Albuquerque Police Department employees.

Redflex paid for a total of 53 meals for city employees starting in 2003 and bought one city employee $40 worth of golf balls, according to the auditor’s report. Accepting meals or other benefits from a current or potential vendor is a violation of the city’s administrative code, according to the report.

“An Albuquerque FBI agent informed us that according to the Chicago office, there were no allegations of bribery or inappropriate gifts in Albuquerque,” Auditor Debra Yoshimura wrote in a report to Lewis early this year. “The FBI agent chacaterized the allegations related to Albuquerque as ‘glad-handing’ activities such as taking people out to lunch or dinner a couple of times.”

Auditors found that the people involved in the “glad handing” had retired or left city employment. The people were not named. They were able to identify 10 people by name and another seven who were identified only by first names, according to the report.

Albuquerque voters decided to end the red-light cameras in October 2011. City officials concluded that Albuquerque made $7 million from red-light traffic tickets, while Redflex made $18 million.

Rio Rancho is the only city in New Mexico still contracted with Redflex. The contract ends in December.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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