Closing arguments underway at red light cameras trial

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Closing arguments are underway in the red light camera trial of a former city employee.

John Bills is charged in an alleged $2 million bribery scheme to bring red light cameras to the city.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurie Barsella wrapped up her closing argument just before noon Monday. Defense attorney Nishay Sanan is expected to begin after lunch. U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon will wrap up the government’s case.

Prosecutor Barsella told the jury in her closing that Bills received “buckets and buckets of cash from Redflex,” the company that received the city's red light camera contract.

Bills was a deputy of transportation. Prosecutors said starting in 2002 over a  period of nine years, he received more than a half a million dollars in cash bribes for helping Redflex.

“The defendent was living the life,” Barsella told the jury. She said he bought a used Mercedes convertible, a speed boat, a condo in Arizona and dozens of vacations with his cash bribes.

Barsella said Redflex bagman Martin O’Malley was essentially, “his personal ATM machine."

Sanan is expected to wrap up defense and closing arguments Monday afternoon. He is expected to argue that Bills was not in a position in city government to influence the awarding of the contracts.

He's also going to suggest that there were other sources of legitimate cash for those expenditures by Bills. The case will probably go to the jury some time late Monday afternoon.