I-Team: Mayor Emanuel responds to motorcade investigation

The mayor responded to the I-Team's red light investigation Wednesday.
May 7, 2014 7:27:36 PM PDT
The mayor's motorcade has racked up nearly two dozen red light and speed camera tickets.

The I-Team's investigation began with the mayor's frequent claims that the city's traffic cameras are about safety, not revenue.

The tale of the tapes show his police drivers have been repeatedly photographed breaking traffic laws and racking up fines that would cost the public at least $1,700.

The mayor moved quickly Wednesday at a press conference, hopping out of his SUV and ducking into a CTA event via a garage.

For the first time, though, Emanuel is talking publicly about the I-Team investigation that found the mayor's motorcade has racked up 17 red light tickets and three speed warnings in the last two-and-a-half years. These tickets were issued by cameras the mayor has always said exist to protect people's safety and slow down drivers.

"As soon as I saw that or heard about the story, I said, 'Look: follow the law, nobody's above the law, slow down. Period,'" Emanuel said.
ABC7's Ben Bradley: "Did you not notice they were running red or speeding near schools and parks?"
Emanuel: "You have my answer."

The moving violations against the mayor's twin-car convoy were all dismissed because the city said it voids "all" tickets issued to police vehicles. Even though the police department said officers are only allowed to break traffic laws in emergencies or during pressing investigations.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy: "Well, Ben, honestly, I think the mayor has addressed that - so I'm not going to follow up on what the mayor said because that's not the way I should do business."
ABC7's Ben Bradley: "When are your guys allowed to break traffic laws?"
McCarthy: "You just articulated it."

The city's website reveals that the two vehicles the mayor uses also have three unpaid parking tickets, whose fines have doubled - totaling $400 - and are now technically eligible for seizure.

ABC7's Ben Bradley: "With respect, your details have unpaid parking tickets totaling $400 - your vehicles are eligible for the boot with your own rules."
Emanuel: "You have exactly what I said, they'll look into it and make sure if there's a security situation, but if there isn't they have to deal with that. Slow down. No one is above the law. Obey the law. Period. Non-stop."

The mayor is sticking to his talking points about the moving violations, but did not address whether anyone will pay the $400 worth of parking tickets still listed in city records as "unpaid."

Throughout this investigation, City Hall has emphasized that there will occasionally be times when, for the mayor's security, traffic rules may need to be violated.


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