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Lawsuit Seeks To Block Emanuel’s Red-Light Camera Do-Over

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel should be stopped in his tracks from giving 1.5 million motorists a red-light camera ticket do-over because his after-the-fact fix to a problem with those tickets violates state law, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Two months after the City Council agreed to give drivers nailed by red-light and speed cameras a second chance to challenge their tickets, plaintiffs’ attorney Jacie Zolna wants a Cook County judge to overturn the ordinance.

A judge has ruled — and the city has acknowledged — that it denied due process to the 1.5 million motorists by failing to send those drivers a second notice of their violations. The Emanuel administration further erred by imposing $100 late fees.

In September, aldermen agreed to correct those “procedural errors” in hopes it would bolster the city’s case against a lawsuit with the potential to force the city to refund $200 million in fines and late fees dating back to the 2003 inception of the scandal-scarred red-light camera program.

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John Honos