e dot dot dot
a mostly about the Internet blog by

September 2020
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
   
     


SafeSpeed Executive Charged With Bribing Cook County Officials For Red Light Camera Contracts

Furnished content.


In January of this year, we discussed how the Illinois Comptroller had decided to opt out of collecting red light camera fees for motorists ticketed by these automated revenue generators. Susan Mendoza said in a statement that while her office was taking this action due to the feds investigating the contractor for the cameras, a company called SafeSpeed, it was also her position that red light cameras were revenue generators with little efficacy at impacting public safety.All very true... but about that federal investigation.

Omar Maani, a former co-owner of politically-connected red light camera company SafeSpeed, has been charged with scheming with a former high-ranking Cook County official to bribe the relative of an Oak Lawn village trustee in order to install new red light cameras in the southwest suburb.Maani is charged with one count of bribery conspiracy in a two-page document known as a “criminal information,” which is typically used in cases [w]here the defendant intends to plead guilty.
If true, such a guilty plea and quick conviction would lay bare the truth that red light cameras for years have been used to bilk money from taxpaying citizens to fill the coffers of both state governments and the contractors those governments work with. In this specific instance, the accusations against Maani suggest fairly brazen behavior. Maani is accused of attempting to pay a close family member of trustee from a Chicago suburb in exchange for installing SafeSpeed cameras in the city. While that is good old fashioned Chicago area politics, it's also textbook bribery.And if you might think this was some one-off scheme, it came about in coordination with the chief of staff for Cook County's Commissioner, Patrick Doherty, among others.
In February, Doherty was indicted on two counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy to defraud, accused of conspiring with a fellow SafeSpeed sales agent and one of the company’s owners to pay $4,000 in bribes to the relative of an Oak Lawn village trustee, in exchange for influencing that trustee to help approve the installation of additional cameras.The charges against Doherty came about two weeks after former Illinois State Sen. Martin Sandoval pleaded guilty to taking $70,000 in bribes to act as a “protector” for red light camera company SafeSpeed. Sandoval said he agreed to take bribes in exchange for blocking proposed legislation to ban red light cameras.
This again should lay to rest what the purpose of red light cameras is: revenue generation. They aren't about safety. They aren't about the law. They aren't about influencing driving habits. They are about money, full stop.Which is why they should not exist.

Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 02-Sep-2020
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Federal Court Temporarily Extends The NYPD's Famous Opacity, Blocks Release Of Misconduct Records

Furnished content.


The NYPD barely bothers to punish officers who misbehave. This "misbehavior" often includes violations of rights and extrajudicial killings, but it appears the NYPD feels New York's "finest" should be above reproach. Consequently, NYPD internal investigations often conclude no officers should be reproached, allowing them to remain the "finest" even when they're really the worst.A new wrinkle in the law fabric might change that. After years of doing nothing (and after years of the NYPD never bothering to invoke the law), the state repealed "50a," the statute that allowed the NYPD to withhold misconduct records from the public. For several years, the NYPD posted the outcome of internal investigations. Then it decided it was no longer going to do that. First, it blamed the high cost of printer ink. Then it cited the law that allowed it to stop posting reports where the press could access them.Lawsuits followed. And -- as is the case whenever law enforcement opacity is threatened -- the NYPD's unions have intervened. It was too little too late. An injunction was sought and obtained, but ProPublica -- which wasn't a party to the lawsuit over 50a records -- published what it had already received from the NYPD. But the battle continues because future opacity is at stake. Unfortunately, a federal court has decided opacity must win out for the moment.

A federal court has halted the release of police misconduct records until a coalition of New York City’s police, fire and corrections unions can make their case to the United States Second Circuit of Appeals.The ruling came Wednesday afternoon — just days after Manhattan Federal Judge Katherine Polk Failla ruled on a lawsuit brought by the unions over the repeal of the law shielding police personnel records known as 50a.
That's right. The union doesn't just want records blocked from release. It wants the law back on the books. This is all very procedural so it probably doesn't wipe away Judge Faila's distaste for this lawsuit. Five days prior to this temporary injunction, Faila had this to say about the union's challenge of the repeal.
The lawsuit, brought by the coalition of unions over the repeal of 50a, argued that releasing unsubstantiated or unfounded allegations would put officers and firefighters at risk and would affect their employment prospects if they leave their department.But Failla said the unions failed to explain why an “officer in charge of hiring would be incapable of interpreting the records” and she had been “presented with no evidence of increased violence or threat of violence.”The disclosures plaintiffs’ argument also seems to overlook the disclosures that have historically been made,” Failla said, noting that the NYPD had previously published disciplinary records in recent years at NYPD headquarters.“Any injunctive relief that I would order, could not put that particular horse back in the barn,” she added.
And yet this ad hoc collection of union legal cowboys is desperate to do just that. The horse cannot be re-barned but maybe enough union members' money can be blown delaying the inevitable. This will be the trophy brought back to the rank-and-file. Money was spent in an attempt to thwart transparency. And -- in the absence of any real victories -- this will have to do.Maybe in the end the courts will decide the repeal of 50a violates the many, many collective bargaining agreements the city has agreed to over the years. If so, New York City needs to let these expire and write new ones that actually give taxpayers a bit more bang for their buck. Accountability is a must. The city's unions continue to insist it's a luxury even the nation's largest city can't afford.

Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 02-Sep-2020
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



September 2020
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
   
     







RSS (site)  RSS (path)

ATOM (site)  ATOM (path)

Categories
 - blog home

 - Announcements  (1)
 - Annoyances  (0)
 - Career_Advice  (0)
 - Domains  (0)
 - Downloads  (3)
 - Ecommerce  (0)
 - Fitness  (0)
 - Home_and_Garden  (0)
     - Cooking  (0)
     - Tools  (0)
 - Humor  (1)
 - Notices  (0)
 - Observations  (1)
 - Oddities  (2)
 - Online_Marketing  (146)
     - Affiliates  (1)
     - Merchants  (1)
 - Policy  (2062)
 - Programming  (0)
     - Browsers  (1)
     - DHTML  (0)
     - Javascript  (5)
     - PHP  (0)
     - PayPal  (1)
     - Perl  (37)
          - blosxom  (0)
     - Unidata_Universe  (22)
 - Random_Advice  (1)
 - Reading  (0)
     - Books  (0)
     - Ebooks  (1)
     - Magazines  (0)
     - Online_Articles  (4)
 - Resume_or_CV  (1)
 - Reviews  (1)
 - Rhode_Island_USA  (0)
     - Providence  (1)
 - Shop  (0)
 - Sports  (0)
     - Football  (1)
          - Cowboys  (0)
          - Patriots  (0)
     - Futbol  (1)
          - The_Rest  (0)
          - USA  (1)
 - Windows  (1)
 - Woodworking  (0)


Archives
 -2020  September  (47)
 -2020  August  (47)
 -2020  July  (46)
 -2020  June  (46)
 -2020  May  (49)
 -2020  April  (48)
 -2020  March  (47)
 -2020  February  (46)
 -2020  January  (48)
 -2019  December  (44)
 -2019  November  (52)
 -2019  October  (49)


My Sites

 - Millennium3Publishing.com

 - SponsorWorks.net

 - ListBug.com

 - TextEx.net

 - FindAdsHere.com

 - VisitLater.com