|Cupcake Trachta, in the mancave|
There's no doubt in my mind that this and several other tickets were Trachta's way of thanking me for some of the stories I've written about him. After poking fun at him during an Executive John Brown news conference in Nazareth, Trachta gave me a ticket for being parked too far from the curb. I was 13" away. He even measured it. He got me. I paid the fine. But there was no way I was going to pay a ticket for parking at an expired meter that had not, in fact, expired.
I got that ticket the day after I broke the news that he and his sidekick, Danny Troxell, had been sued in federal court over the tragic death of Timothy Nixon an African American father of two in a community not known for its African Americans. Come to think of it, they're just getting used to the Irish here.
Trachta testified that he was on his way to some Chief meeting at 9 am when he saw my car, parked on a street. He thought it was possibly disabled or abandoned. When his meeting was over, he checked my rusty and old car again, and decided to write me up for parking at an expired meter. He was subversively telling Judge Capobianco that he was dealing with one of those impoverished townies who give Nazareth a bad name.
But last time I checked, it's no crime to be poor. Many of our teachers, writers, artists and clergy are poor.
I asked Cupcake whether it's a crime in Nazareth to drive a beat up old and rusty car, to which he objected.
"You brought it up," observed Hizzoner.
Trachta had another and bigger problem. There actually was money and time on the meter. When I came out and saw my car, I took pictures. They were introduced into evidence over Trachta's objections that he had no idea when they were taken. I testified that they were a fair and accurate representation of the scene, and I had taken them as soon as I saw the ticket. .
My position was that Trachta is too busy doing Chief things and simply failed to notice that there was money on the meter. He wanted to get me, as he had already done twice after stories making fun of him. But in his haste, he never made sure that I had actually broken the law.
Judge Cap acquitted me, not because he disbelieved the Chief, he claimed, but because I do not usually quarrel over parking tickets.
As Chief Cupcake stormed out, another fellow walked in and I wished him luck, figuring he was next.
"No, I'm not here for a hearing," he told me. "I'm the exterminator." As he began spraying, I cleared out before he got the biggest bug in the room - me.