VIRGINIA BEACH -- A former top executive of the company that runs red-light and speed-camera systems in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Newport News says he and others gave “lavish gifts and bribes” to government officials in Colorado and elsewhere to secure and retain their business.
None of the three cities say they’ve received anything from Redflex, the Arizona-based company that runs the city’s camera-radar systems. The contracts between Redflex and the three cities were not available on Friday, but Virginia Beach says its contract for the current fiscal year tops $700,000.
According to legal documents, former Redflex Executive Vice President Aaron Rosenberg says he and his bosses routinely gave out everything from sporting-event tickets to rounds of golf and meals to government officials in charge of deciding whether to hire and retain the company.
“A budget for these items was approved and there was never a distinction between these types of entertainment expenses and expenses that are considered gratuities and bribes,” Rosenberg argued in a lawsuit against the company.
Redflex lost its $100 million contract with the city of Chicago after the Chicago Tribune newspaper revealed a “questionable relationship between the company and the longtime Chicago city official in charge of the red light program,” the newspaper said Thursday. Last year, the Chicago contract alone counted for more than 13 percent of Redflex revenues, according to the company’s annual report.
Redflex is suing Rosenberg on the grounds that he misspent company money. He’s suing them back them for maligning his name, arguing that everything he did was either known or approved by company officials. Rosenberg in his lawsuit said he gave “gifts and bribes” to officials in many states, from Colorado to Florida, New Mexico and Virginia, over a 10-year period.
Virginia Beach police spokeswoman Tanya Borman said the department has not received anything from Redflex.
Redflex officials say Rosenberg engaged in an “intentional and secret scheme” to defraud the company, and are asking court officials to dismiss his lawsuit and force him to repay the money they say he misspent. He was fired in February 2013.