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Coleman Releases Statement On Redflex

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Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman for records related to a probe of a former red-light camera company executive who has pleaded guilty to bribing city officials in Columbus and Cincinnati. 

That information is contained in a statement Coleman released on Tuesday. Jim Letizia reports.
 
Coleman says he felt it necessary to issue the statement after prosecutors announced former Redflex CEO Karen Finley pleaded guilty to charges of bribing elected officials in Columbus and Cincinnati in exchange for winning or maintaining municipal contracts. Coleman says he was asked to provide documents related to Reflex, but the feds issued the subpoena last month, close to the time they issued subpoenas for records from City Council president and Mayoral candidate Andy Ginther, a campaign official and the Ohio Democratic Party. Coleman says in his statement he had no involvement in the awarding of the Redflex contract and says he will cooperate with authorities. Finley has said she passed money through veteran City Hall Lobbyist John Raphael, who represented Redflex, and the state party to elected officials in Columbus and Cincinnati. Ginther has denied any wrongdoing. Campaign finance reports show Raphael donated 5 thousand dollars to Coleman's campaign in November of 2007. They do not indicate that money came from Redflex, but it was donated at the time when Raphael donated 30 thousand dollars in his name to elected officials in Columbus and Cincinnati. Coleman and Ginther have said they did not know Redflex was the source of the money each received from Raphael.

Mayor Coleman Issues Statement Regarding Redflex Investigation:

"Given the investigation and public discussion of the Redflex contract, I feel it is
necessary to make the following statement:
 
The Department of Public Safety had the responsibility to evaluate and recommend the
best option for the city. I am confident that the Department complied with the
appropriate laws, rules, regulations, and city policies. I have asked the Department
of Public Safety to work with the City Attorney to examine the procurement,
contract, and legislative process associated with the photo red light program.
 
I had no involvement in the decision to award the contract to Redflex.
 
I, along with others, have received a request to provide documents to federal
investigators and I am responding fully and completely. I encourage those who
receive a request for information to cooperate as I am. While I am not the focus, I
do consider these allegations to be serious. As such, I will do whatever is
necessary to assist the authorities.
 
It is important that the federal investigators are provided with the appropriate
information so that all of the facts come out, so that justice can be served."
 
Mayor Coleman will have no further comment at this time.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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