Tracking Philly's parking scofflaws

January 29, 2010 4:21:52 PM PST
Philadelphia's financial problems are deep, and well-documented. Everyone is looking for some sort of solution.

But as they city scours for new ways to make money, there is one pretty big pile of money that is well within reach: Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars that are owed by people who have refused to pay their parking tickets.

Now, for the first time, Action News has their names.

According to a memo obtained exclusively by Action News, the top 15 scofflaws who have only one motor vehicle tag owe a staggering sum: $244,394. That works out to more than 3,000 tickets. All those tickets, and all that money, from just 15 people who simply won't pay.

"The city can use this money as well as the school district can use the money," says Vince Fenerty, the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Here's some of the list:

  • Colmon Holmes - 488 unpaid tickets totaling $28,749
  • Sergio Claudio - 298 unpaid tickets totaling $21,398

There are many more. All of the names on the list have been contacted several times in several ways by the Philadelphia Parking Authority. Now, fed up and in need of the money, the city of Philadelphia is getting even more aggressive. Officials are doing everything from putting boots on offenders' cars to bringing offenders before a judge.

"The next step is we're going to file next week in court against them. Our attorneys are putting the final touches on the lawsuits."

It's an effort to put some teeth back into the enforcement after someone gets a parking ticket.

Our Action News investigation uncovered what could be a bigger problem: A loophole that proves these unpaid tickets are just the very tip of the iceberg. We caught up with the biggest offender:

"For sure! I'm more guilty of that than I am of the tickets. The tickets are by far unjustified. Ludicrous!! Pieces of junk paper!"