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Mayor Emanuel silence on the red light camera rip-off scandal continues

Rahm Emanuel accused of incredible non-transparency again
Rahm Emanuel accused of incredible non-transparency again
Photo by Tasos Katopodis

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is refusing to speak about Chicago’s red light camera scandal for a fifth day in a row, according to the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday. If he thinks his silence on the topic will cause the scandal to go away, he is wrong. This scandal involves many Chicagoans' personal finances.

Even though Emanuel is out for yet another photo opportunity on Tuesday, he will not be commenting on the Chicago Tribune’s investigative findings which have shown that there was a spike in suspicious issuances of red light camera traffic tickets around Chicago that has resulted in thousands of drivers getting hit with $100 fines paid to the city. The Chicago Tribune released its detailed report on the disturbing problem last Friday morning, suggesting that thousands of persons had to pay fines for traffic violations they absolutely did not commit.

Since the report went public, Mayor Emanuel has made six public appearances. In every appearance, he has refused to entertain any questions from reporters on this – his latest scandal as mayor of the city. In his first appearance since the scandal broke, he said on Friday - at a groundbreaking ceremony for a building construction project on Wolf Point in Chicago’s loop – that “Today is about the jobs” and he refused to comment. Days later, he is still refusing to talk about the scandal that has been so costly to unsuspecting and innocent Chicago drivers. Additionally, according to CBS, a lawsuit has been filed against the city over the red light camera alleged rip-offs.

The mayor was engaged in a private meeting on violence with law enforcement officials at the headquarters of the Chicago Police Department. The meeting was held after 11-year-old Shamiya Adams was killed by a stray bullet entering her home over the weekend. Television crews were permitted to record the scripted remarks made at the beginning of the meeting. Then, some reporters were allowed to speak with the mayor afterwards. The Chicago Tribune says that this is typical of the carefully controlled events involving Emanuel. In other words, transparency in his actions as mayor are incredibly poor.

The Tribune compares Emanuel’s transparency to his predecessor’s, former Mayor Richard M. Daley. The report says that Daley regularly spoke to the media three or more times per week via a press conference. It is visibly obvious that Emanuel only takes questions once a week. And in the case of the red light camera scandal, it is obvious he has no problem with refusing to speak on topics that some Chicagoans are most concerned about. According to, the current red light camera scandal follows a horrendous criminal history involving the cameras which included widespread bribery in its operations.