Monday, August 30, 2010

Supposed Legal Basis For County Threats Possibly A Scam

The Daily Herald has published an article which reveals that when Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno threatened municipalities that opted out of the red light cameras by claiming they had a legal opinion to back up the threat, they may have been lying.  Cook County has decided to place red light cameras at several intersections controlled by Cook County.  Many of the proposed red light cameras will be located inside municipalities that have decided not to use red light cameras in their towns.  One such town is Schaumburg, which already tried red light cameras but decided to remove the camera and not use them anymore.  The Cook County Board eventually decided to give municipalities the right to opt out of the program.  Stroger and Moreno threatened municipalities that were considering opting out of the program by telling them that if they decided to opt out, the county would turn over the maintenance of the intersections to them.  The high maintenance costs would all but force these municipalities to accept the red light cameras.  Stroger and Moreno claimed that they had received a legal opinion from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office which stated that they had the legal authority to turn over the maintenance of these intersections to the municipalities.  However, it turns out that no such legal opinion exists.  Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider, an opponent of red light cameras, received a letter from a deputy at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office that "no such opinion exists."  Stroger and Moreno and not produced any such legal opinion and attorney's for the various municipalities that are considering opting out of the red light camera program have not been able to find any legal authority which supports Stroger and Moreno's claim that Cook County has the legal authority to turn over the maintenance of their intersections to the municipalities.  It is starting to look like Stroger and Moreno have been caught lying about their legal authority to impose their will on local residents.

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