Oct 28, 2010 9:47 AM by Nichole Larkey
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Louisiana Supreme Court has upheld a
judge's order invalidating traffic tickets issued through New Orleans' red-light and speed-enforcement camera system.
The court's 6-0 vote on Wednesday could create a budget problem for the city, which collected $9.4 million from the tickets through August and expected another $5 million through the end of the year. Mayor Mitch Landrieu's budget proposal includes $18 million in projected revenue from the cameras.
Landrieu's office said city believes that tickets issued through Tuesday are still valid.
On Oct. 1, Civil District Judge Paulette Irons tossed out the tickets, saying the camera system violated a city charter provision giving the police department sole authority to enforce traffic regulations. The program had been administered since it began in 2008 by the Public Works Department.
An ordinance has been introduced before the city council to transfer the program's authority to police.
Landrieu spokesman Ryan Berni said the administration was "disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision because these cameras have proven to be an important deterrent to unlawful traffic practices."
Attorney Ed Washington, who filed the suit, has said that if he won the case, he would ask courts to refund the millions of dollars collected from the cameras.