Monday, June 22, 2015

Seitz calls for cities to refund Red Light Camera ticket fines

Red Light Camera Investigation Prompts Call for Cities to End Legal Action, Issue Refunds

Senate Republican calls for cities to apologize and end the program
COLUMBUS State Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) called on cities using red light cameras to immediately end their lawsuit against the State of Ohio, apologize to the General Assembly and refund fines to drivers.

Seitz made the demand following news reports of a federal investigation alleging that an executive of a red light camera company bribed city officials to keep the cameras running despite legislative action to ban them.

“I call on the cities to apologize and dismiss their lawsuit,” said Seitz, who has led the effort to outlaw red light cameras, including recent action to reduce state tax dollars going to local government funds by the amount of the fines. “We always knew it wasn’t about public safety. It was about money; we just didn’t know it was about shady money.”

According to news reports, RedFlex CEO Karen Finley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery. Federal court documents allege that improper campaign contributions were directed at elected officials in Columbus and Cincinnati during an eight-year period between 2005 and 2013.

"I have always maintained that photo enforcement cameras were more about money than safety," Seitz continued. "Today’s criminal case proves how right I was, even though I never dreamed that municipal officials would take bribes to fleece their own taxpayers. Apparently, a new side benefit of our recent state law on restricting and regulating the use of these cameras will be to restrict the opportunity for corrupt officials to receive bribes. I call on the cities that continued to disregard our state law to immediately dismiss their lawsuits against the state and to make full restitution to the motorists whose traffic tickets are the product of corrupt activity by the very municipal officials who are supposed to be protecting the taxpayers against governmental abuse.”

Read the federal court document here:

In 2014, the Ohio Senate voted to prohibit cities from using the cameras, and the cities sued the state in an attempt to overturn the ban. The court case is still pending.

Read local media coverage of the investigation and bribery plea here:
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State Senator Bill Seitz represents the 8th District in the Ohio Senate, which encompasses a portion of Hamilton County. Learn more at You can download a high-resolution photo of Senator Seitz for your use by clicking here.

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