Embattled red light camera operator Safespeed took comfort in a federal judge’s decision to put off further proceedings out of virus fears. US District Judge Robert M. Dow Jr had scheduled a hearing for Friday but decided instead to postpone further consideration of a racketeering lawsuit against Safespeed. He will accept final briefings in November on whether to allow the suit to proceed and issue a ruling by mail. The suit is asking for $70 million in refunds to the motorists ticketed through the scheme.
Action by the US Department of Justice has already caught Safespeed co-founder Omar Maani involved in the plot to bribe suburban Illinois politicians into signing up for the highly lucrative automated ticketing service. Maani earlier this month admitted his guilt and entered a deferred prosecution agreement that allows him to avoid serving time in prison in return for his turning evidence against those with whom he did business. Maani’s father, Khaled ‘Cliff’ Maani, insists he is not part of the scheme and urged the judge to toss the lawsuit.