CITY HALL — The city's top watchdog announced Friday he'll investigate irregularities with red-light cameras, at the request of the mayor and his transportation chief.
Inspector General Joseph Ferguson announced he was "prioritizing an immediate review of the program" after being asked to do so by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld.
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) had led the Progressive Reform Caucus in previously calling for the inspector general to probe the system.
Ferguson cited a series of articles in the Tribune appearing to show unpredictable and "unfair" "spikes" in tickets for red-light violations at various city intersections.
"In the wake of recent media reports, the public’s questions regarding the red-light-camera program are understandable," Ferguson said in a statement issued Friday. "A multi-pronged approach is clearly needed to restore public confidence in this enforcement program.
"The administration has separately announced steps it is taking to address concerns about past spikes and committed itself to the timely release of robust program data in the near future," he added. "In the meantime, [the Office of the Inspector General] will attempt to identify past program shortcomings, including any that may have allowed the citation spikes reported in the media, and will report its findings and recommendations on how the city can manage the red-light-camera program more efficiently, fairly and in a manner fully deserving of the public’s trust."
Ferguson said he expected "the full cooperation and assistance of the city."
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