3/30/2016Convicted Chicago Official Wants Redflex Exec To Pay Bribery Fine
Former Chicago, Illinois transportation official seeks to overturn guilty verdict in his red light camera bribery trial.
John Bills, the former Chicago, Illinois transportation official convicted of taking bribes from Redflex Traffic Systems, continues to insist that the government's case against him remains fatally weak. In documents filed with the federal court, Bills attorney Nishay K. Sanan asked Judge Virginia Kendall to reject the feds' attempt to confiscate the $680,107 in illicit funds that Bills had accepted in return for expanding the Windy City's red light camera program.
"The government relies on the testimony of Martin O'Malley and Aaron Rosenberg," Sanan wrote. "This testimony was not believed at trial, and should not be bought into now."
O'Malley was the bagman who delivered the Redflex cash that former Redflex Executive Vice President Rosenberg had secured. Bills is trying to deny that the cash is properly "traceable" to his misdeeds, and thus not subject to forfeiture. If he loses this argument, he asked Judge Kendall to insist that the government share the burden of the fine with former Redflex US chief Karen Finley and O'Malley.
"As a general rule, co-venturers in a criminal scheme -- whether labeled as co-schemers, co-conspirators, or aider and abettors -- are jointly and severally liable for all proceeds generated under a fraud scheme," Sanan wrote, citing precedents.
US Attorney Zachary T. Fardon said that this was impossible because the government's plea deals with O'Malley and Finley rule out additional forfeiture. O'Malley will pay $98,837 and Finley will pay nothing because she allegedly did not "personally receive any benefits" from the bribes.
Fardon also rejected the attempt to throw out the jury's verdict and grant a new trial. He cited the mountain of banking transactions and other records that substantiates the transfer of funds from Redflex to Bills.
"The testimony of Finley, O'Malley and Rosenberg was amply supported not only by e-mails that the jury was free to interpret in whatever way they chose, but also by financial records, airline records, and even defendant's own words spoken during a telephone call that was recorded by Rosenberg," Fardon wrote.
Judge Kendall was set to rule on the Bills motion on Tuesday. Instead, the proceedings have been postponed. Likewise, the sentencing of Ohio Redflex lobbyist John Raphael has been put off until June 8.