COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 19 (UPI) -- The former CEO of a company that sells and operates red-light cameras told a judge she bribed officials in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, to secure and maintain contracts with the cities.
Karen Finley, 55, of Cave Creek, Ariz., pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio to conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, and honest services wire and mail fraud.
Between 2005 and 2013, Finley was CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems, a company that sets up cameras at intersections that snap photos of vehicles running red lights.
She admitted she participated in a scheme in which the company made campaign contributions to elected officials in the two cities in exchange for securing red-light camera contracts with the municipalities. Additionally, the company concealed the contributions through invoices labeling the payments as being for "consulting services" to a third party who then made the contributions.
Columbus City Council member and current mayoral candidate Andrew Ginther is one of the officials alleged to have received a campaign contribution from Reflex Traffic Systems. Ginther released a statement Friday denying the claims.
"I had absolutely no knowledge of these activities and did not take part in them," he said. "While I am not a subject of this inquiry, I have been asked to provide records that may help the investigation into Redflex. I've fully cooperated and will continue to assist in bringing these people to justice. In light of these charges, I have asked City Attorney Rick Pfeiffer to conduct an investigation into any current contracts between the city and Redflex."
Finley will be sentenced at a future date, the U.S. Department of Justice said.