Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman sent a press release this afternoon (June 23) regarding an ongoing bribery scandal that has ensnared City Council President Andy Ginther.

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman sent a press release this afternoon (June 23) regarding an ongoing bribery scandal that has ensnared City Council President Andy Ginther.

Coleman encouraged everyone at City Hall to participate in an investigation in which a former official of Redflex Traffic Systems, the city's provider of red-light cameras, said she had bribed "elected officials" in the city.

According to documents from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio, Redflex made a $20,000 contribution to the Ohio Democratic Party. Less than a month later, the state party made a $21,000 contribution to Ginther's campaign coffers, according to published reports.

Karen L. Finley, former CEO of Arizona-based Redflex, has pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud charges in Columbus and Cincinnati and admitted to making campaign contributions from 2005 to 2013 in those cities.

Ginther, who's running for mayor this fall, held a press conference Monday, June 22, at City Hall, defending himself against charges of pay-to-play politics.

Coleman said he also is not the focus of the investigation and has been cooperating fully with investigators.

"The Department of Public Safety had the responsibility to evaluate and recommend the best option for the city," Coleman said in the statement. "I am confident that the department complied with the appropriate laws, rules, regulations and city policies. I have asked the Department of Public Safety to work with the city attorney to examine the procurement, contract and legislative process associated with the photo red-light program."

The public-safety department issued its own statement June 22 regarding the matter.

"I am confident that the Department of Public Safety has complied with all laws and city policies," safety director George Speaks said in the statement. "We will continue to cooperate with any and all investigations and examinations."

Ginther has received Coleman's endorsement in his bid for mayor. Coleman chose not to seek another term. Both are Democrats.

Ginther's opponent, Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, also a Democrat, has asked Ginther to step aside.

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