Houston Council Delays Red Light Camera Settlement

Paul and Michael Kubosh, taken September 3, 2011
Houston Councilmembers pushed off a vote on the red light camera settlement for another two weeks. The delay opens up a small possibility for the deal to fall apart.

Some Houston councilmembers appeared to be swayed by two of the most high profile figures in the red light camera debacle — Paul and Michael Kubosh.

The brothers, who led the campaign to take the cameras down, urged councilmembers not to vote on the settlement because they're still waiting for a federal court to rule whether the referendum that voted out the cameras was legal.

This is Michael Kubosh.

"Until the federal judge rules to take the cameras down and reinstate the election, we're going to stay in this fight. If it takes it to the Supreme Court, we have to get election reinstated and the charter amendment put back on the books."

The charter amendment outlawing the cameras is, in fact, on the books, regardless of a decision by the courts.

Still, councilmembers moved to delay a vote on the settlement with American Traffic Solutions for another two weeks.

ATS Attorney George Hittner says there is a risk the delay could jeopardize the deal between ATS and the city.

"Anything can happen that can either upset, complicate or make the deal not worthwhile for one side or the other. So really what happened today, the two week delay introduces a lot of risk into the equation. But we'll see how it plays out."

Houston Mayor Annise Parker downplayed the significance of that risk.

"If I thought that there was a serious danger that the agreement would go south, I would have forced a vote today."

If the council approves the settlement two weeks from now, the city will pay $4.79 million to ATS in exchange for the
end of litigation and removal of all cameras.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...