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Date Set For Speed Camera Subpoena: Council Will Not Rule Out Calling Mayor To Testify

Updated: Tuesday, January 28 2014, 12:08 PM EST

A council committee has set a date for a hearing on issuing subpoenas to compel testimony from city officials over a secret audit of the city’s speed camera system. The hearing sets up a possible showdown between a council frustrated by the findings which showed the cameras were more error prone than city officials disclosed, and an increasingly defiant mayor. 

"It is important to remember that this program is about making our city safer and even with the misinformation spread by political grandstanding," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in an email. "Citizens still reach out to the Administration requesting that cameras be brought back online because they saw firsthand the difference the cameras made in making our communities safer."

On Monday the council considered a resolution sponsored by Councilman Carl Stokes that would grant permission to issue subpoenas and compel testimony from city officials over the audit findings of a beleaguered city speed camera system.

However, Stokes failed to muster a super majority - three-fourths of the council vote - that would have bestowed the powers to his committee. The resolution will instead be heard by the Judiciary and Investigations committee chaired by Councilman James Kraft.

In an email from Kraft's office a spokesperson said he has not ruled out calling the mayor to testify before the council.

"Councilman Kraft intends to summon whomever the Committee needs to summon to answer its questions and/or explain produced documents," City Council Chief of Staff Kristyn Oldendorf said. "At this time, it is too early to say exactly who those persons will be. He cannot exclude anyone at this time either."

The audit examined 900 citations issued in 2012 by former speed camera vendor Xerox and found an error rate of 10%, a stark contrast to the 'less than 1%' error rate city officials touted publicly.

On Monday before the full council meeting Council President Jack Young expressed outrage over the audit which was commissioned with his approval by the Board of Estimates.

"As a member of the Board of Estimates I was totally embarrassed and I was disappointed that they would not show it to me," Young said.

CLICK HERE for the audit.

Date Set For Speed Camera Subpoena: Council Will Not Rule Out Calling Mayor To Testify

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