What was that sound coming from Riverside Village Hall when the Chicago Tribune landed on its doorstep last week: a gasp of horror, or a sigh of relief?

An article headlined “Recent federal raids connected to probe of red-light camera company, source says” details “one focus of the federal investigation that led to last week’s raid on state Sen. Martin Sandoval and several towns in his district …”

The red-light camera company involved: SafeSpeed LLC. The allegation: That Sen. Sandoval, “chairman of the powerful Senate Transportation Committee, had interceded with the Illinois Department of Transportation on SafeSpeed’s behalf while also taking tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the company and its owner.”

SafeSpeed LLC also happens to be the company that Riverside entered into a contract with last year to shepherd the installation of re-light cameras here. In August, IDOT rebuffed Riverside’s application for red-light cameras. The landmark reported that although the village had been informed that the proposed locations didn’t meet current standards, the village was going to have further discussions with IDOT to try and change its decision – hopefully without the intercession of Sen. Sandoval, one of the village’s state senators.

Not to pre-judge anyone or thing, and conceding that other shoes may yet to drop, now would be a good time for the village board to rescind its contract with SafeSpeed and abandon this ill-fated endeavor altogether.

Kevin Smith