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Ginther: I'm Not A Target Of A Redflex Investigation

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Mandie Trimble
/
WOSU
Columbus City Council President Andrew Ginther addresses questions surrounding a red light camera case.

Columbus City Council President Andrew Ginther, Monday, denied taking money from a red light camera company in return for favorable treatment. 

Ginther, who wants to be mayor, said he is not the target of an investigation into a red light camera company bribery scandal. He said initial stories linking him to the RedFlex camera case were based on “errors” and “misconceptions.”

“I have served this community honorably for the last 15 years and have never asked for anything in return for my public service.”

In a plea agreement, former RedFlex company executive, Karen Finley, of Arizona, accuses Columbus elected officials of requesting campaign contributions in exchange for city contracts.

A crosscheck of court records with campaign finance reports shows Ginther's campaign received a questionable contribution from Finley, funneled through the Ohio Democratic Party by way of a lobbyist.

Ginther denies asking for the money.

“I had no role in making the decision about who the Ohio Democratic Party contributes to. The contribution was not solicited by my campaign or by myself from the Ohio Democratic Party. They make those decisions of their own accord with their own process," Ginther said. 

But court documents says the elected official who received the $21,000 contribution in November of 2011, was the elected official who contacted a Redflex executive. When asked if he is that unnamed “elected official," Ginther responded this way, “I am saying I never contacted Karen Finley. And I am not aware of any contribution from RedFlex to the Ginther committee.”

But the case documents do not say the elected official contacted Finley, but instead discussed a $20,000 contribution with RedFlex’s vice president of sales.

Ginther said he twice asked RedFlex for campaign contributions but his campaign never received any money from the company.

Ginther said he will not quit the mayor's race. Instead, he vows to clear his name and the name of Columbus City government which he said does not operate a 'pay-to-play' system.

“There has never been any pay to play, that I’m aware of, in the city of Columbus," he said. "And I have never been engaged in anything other than soliciting contributions to my campaign committee to support myself and my caucus and other issues that the city has been engaged with.”

It’s unknown if other people will be charged in the RedFlex case, though the investigation is ongoing.

Ginther said he received a subpoena about two weeks ago and has provided the requested documents.