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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, February 23, 2015

Panto's Parking Police "Appeals" Process Raises Concerns

Easton's response to a Right-to-Know request filed with Easton officials on February 10 has presented some concerns about the possibility of favoritism in the way it handles so-called appeals of parking tickets. Easton's appeal records are virtually nonexistent. Moreover, the City  has no idea how much revenue it generated from its switch to a so-called civil process in 2014.

The revelation that the City still is unsure of its parking ticket revenue last year is contrary to what was said a news conference called earlier this month by Mayor Sal Panto, At that time, Director of Administration Glenn Steckman stated that Easton had raised about $650,000 in 2014 from its kinder, gentler switch to a civil enforcement in which people's cars are being booted and towed without due process. The City also lacks any record that can tell anyone how much revenue was raised from the practice of booting cars.

One of my numerous concerns with the City's civil appeals process for parking tickets, in which cops get to wear black robes and play judge, is the very real danger that who you know will turn out to be much more important than the facts.

Panto himself opened that door.

At his news conference, he stated he is approached frequently about tickets and went into detail about one woman going through a divorce who had her car booted in an effort to show how compassionate city officials are with people who have financial hardships. He sent her to Lt. Lohenitz, but then quickly added he has no idea what happened in her case.

Of course, that's bullshit. He would not mention her at all as an example of a kinder and gentler system without knowing what ultimately happened. And as it turns out, that woman was shown leniency after being sent over by Hizzoner.

Am I suggesting that City officials are fixing tickets? I think it's unlikely on the part of the Mayyor and high-ranking police officers, but the potential for chicanery among some existspotential for it exists.

In the City's response to my Right-to-Know, it points out that there were 3,534 hearings last year. But it provides no breakdown on how many appeals were granted and how many failed. In a clarification, the City has told me it only has a record of the appeals granted. It kept no records of any appeals that were denied.

Doesn't that strike you as odd? The whole reason I asked for a breakdown was to determine whether the process is fair. I would expect that, in most instances, the appeal would be denied. But the City has no record

I have filed a new Right-to-Know with Easton, seeking the identity of the persons who won appeals with the City in 2014. I am willing to give City officials any reasonable extension of time needed to respond. Will a large number of the exonerated tickets turn out to be connected to Panto, police, Council members and City workers?

We'll see.


Anonymous said...

hate and jealousy driven dribble of a beaten horse piece.

this so called blog used to be semi informative but it seems to have turned into excessive rants of a truly confused mind.


Bernie O'Hare said...

Mrzzacrazy, turn in your car.

Anonymous said...

This must have Mayor Pantywaste's underwear a little bunched up?

Anonymous said...

Only municipality to declare a "snow emergency" this past weekend?

Money Grab from the city of Fee's, shame on you Panto!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Numerous municipalities declared snow emergencies, including Nazareth, Hellertown, Hanover Tp, Bethlehem Tp and others.

Anonymous said...

He's running Easton like some Southern speed trap town with no regard for the US Constitution. He not a smart guy and likely doesn't understand The Constitution. But his ignorance of the law is no excuse. Keep up the heat Bernie.