2/20/2007Pennsylvania: Free Parking for Pittsburgh Meter Maids
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania investigates whether meter maids are illegally canceling tickets issued to fellow meter maids.
After a television news program exposed the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Parking Authority practice of canceling parking citations issued to meter maids, the city has launched a six-week audit of the 12,000 tickets voided in the city last year.
"If they're legally voiding these tickets for the just cause, there should be backup documentation for that, and it should say what the reason is for it," City Controller Tony Pokora told WTAE-TV. "If they're not, that's illegal."
One of Pittsburgh's most flagrant parking scofflaws, Ray Marcione, earned 29 parking tickets between September 2005 and December 2006. Marcione, a meter maid, had his $1000 fines canceled. Likewise, meter maids Dana Murphy and Linda Hurney had six and eighteen tickets voided, respectively. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Councilman Jeff Koch and City Council President Doug Shields also had tickets canceled.
The Pittsburgh Parking Authority both issues tickets and decides who is and is not guilty, as the courts no longer handles parking matters. The Authority issued 250,000 tickets last year generating $7.5 million in profit. The WTAE-TV reporters who broke the story were ticketed while interviewing a Parking Authority official.