Corruption Charges Stick, City Employee Lies to DRC

First off, I want to apologize for getting so far behind on this fight. Partly, I was waiting to see the results of FrackFree Denton and whether our city council was at all interested in voting in the interest of citizen-led initiatives. Secondly, I’ve been swamped with my own business projects and unable to give enough time to this project.

On the good news, former Redflex Officials, including Karen Finley (another individual who worked with City of Denton officials) have been found guilty of bribery charges in the Chicago case. So while the wheels of justice grind slowly, they are effective and may just find their way to Texas.

These are the people your elected officials chose to do business with. Does anyone still believe everything was clean here in Texas?

A couple months back, Denton did finally comply with my Open Government request, providing thousands of emails and communications with city employees and officials. I have had time to perform a cursory review, but have not delved too deeply.

Despite the fact our city has kept the public largely uninformed about this multi-million dollar scam, there has been a tremendous amount of back and forth with the company. One interesting e-mail suggests that even more lies are going around.

In a July 2009 interview with the Denton Record Chronicle, Scott Fletcher of Denton PD spoke about a drop in the number of violations which had put the program into the red.

Fletcher said the cameras were never about making money. “We always intended from the beginning that if the system is working, the violations should go down” along with revenue, he said. “I didn’t think we’d drop off to that extent, but to me it’s an indication that the system is working.”

However, in an email exchange in February of 2009 with John Turner of Redflex, they were trouble shooting as to why the violations had dropped. Fletcher had this to say:

The first drop in violations was the yellow interval issue. We increased the yellow interval at three of the four intersections (5 of 6 approaches) due to a prior miscalculation of the interval time by our city engineer. The second drop in violations (October ’07) came as the result of the Texas Legislative action to essentially “formalize” RLC programs. Under the new State requirements, which went in to effect September 1 ’07, we moved the violation line back from the extension of the curb line to the marked stop bar. This change had a dramatic effect on our violation numbers.

Once again, we witness city officials lying to the public or public commissions to hide details about this money-grabbing scheme. Why would Redflex be “concerned” about a drop in violations if the POINT of this program was reducing violations and public safety? Why wouldn’t Mr. Fletcher tell the Denton Record Chronicle the TRUTH?

So far, as I’ve detailed in previous articles, every public engagement on this program has been to spread mis-information designed to prop this for-profit law enforcement scandal up. When will the city own up to this?

The answer is most likely “never”. Even if we were to approach the city with a signed petition showing our concerns, money and corruption would kick the can down the road. The city council has shown they are unwilling to engage myself and other citizens on this topic, even the local paper seems not to care that they have been used to print lies supporting this scandalous program.

I’m doing my best to keep an eye on things and if anyone would like to assist, I will continue to post all of the information I receive. Until then, do your best to fight this and make it known to your elected officials and city employees that we are on to their game.

Email Entitled: RE_ Contract Renewal Proposal

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2 responses to “Corruption Charges Stick, City Employee Lies to DRC

  1. The email you quote is very disturbing, not least because since 2009, when I was hit on my bicycle crossing University Drive on Malone, we discovered that, if no cars are present, the green lights are very short (less than 5 seconds), and at some intersections (Alice, Fulton) the lights don’t turn green at all if only a cyclist is there. Although I, and some Denton City Council members, have asked the City Engineers to adjust these lights (even a single car cannot make it across University Drive in less than 5 seconds, let alone a cyclist), they have not. Everyone behaves as though doing so were a big, big deal, yet the email you quote reveals that the city engineers can and do easily change the light lengths for profit, just not for safety. Very disturbing.

    • Jennifer,

      I’m so sorry to hear you were hit, I hope the recovery was quick and there were no lasting injuries. That must have been terrible!

      Changing light timings is not a big deal. For a busy intersection, they may need to send someone out to observe patterns and monitor the adjustments for a bit, but how inconveniencing one engineer is more important than the lives of our citizens, I don’t understand.

      I have several friends that bike Denton and have heard the exact same complaints regarding University. My guess is they would be more prone to install a red light camera (which IS a big deal compared to adjusting timings) to take advantage of the difficulty in clearing the intersection before they’d help out our cycling community. I know that sounds harsh, but it is difficult not to be jaded about the bought and sold politics here in what could be a wonderful city.

      Thanks for keeping up with the site, I wish you safety in your cycling around town!

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