TARGET 11 investigates city workers receiving parking tickets

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PITTSBURGH —

Two months ago, Mayor Bill Peduto said he was going to cut back on the number of city workers who get free parking passes. He followed through the move, and revoked nearly 300 unrestricted passes.

However, Target 11 investigator Rick Earle reported there seems to be some confusion now that parking tickets are being handed out, and at least five City Council members are in ticket trouble.

“I had two tickets within two weeks,” Councilwoman Therese Kail Smith said.

According to Kail Smith, she got the tickets while parked outside the City County building, where she has an assigned space.

One time, she said she had her old parking pass on the dashboard. The other time, she said she was forced to park in another space because someone was in hers.

“The phone call did come. They did tell them it was my vehicle, and they still tagged it instead of waiting for me or someone to move it," Smith said.

Smith said she isn’t alone. Earle reported at least five City Council members have been ticketed around the city in the past two months.

Councilman Ricky Burgess said he forgot his pass, Councilman Dan Gilman said his pass was on the dashboard, but the parking enforcement officer apparently didn’t see it.

Councilman Corey O’Connor and Natalia Rudiak said they had the old passes.

“I hope council members understand what’s fair for one is fair for all,” Peduto said.

Peduto said he understands the frustrations, but he said his administration isn’t backing down.

“We’ve given the orders that if you don’t have the appropriate pass, they you’ll get a ticket. I can tell you I get tickets about once a month, and I pay them,” Peduto said.

Smith said she doesn’t plan on fighting her tickets.

“My husband wanted me to, but I said, ‘Maybe if I get another one, I will,’” Smith said. “I thought I will just pay them.”

Smith said she thinks the new administration needs to take a more common-sense approach to enforcement, but Peduto said no one will get a break.