LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The city Department of Transportation has failed to collect an estimated $5.4 million in unpaid parking tickets by not aggressively pursuing ticket “scofflaws,” according to a city controller’s audit released Tuesday.

In almost three-quarters of cases in which the department identified repeat offenders illegally parked, the attendant issued a citation instead of calling for a boot or to have the car impounded, the audit found. LADOT also failed to use license plate recognition equipment designed to catch regular parking violators, according to the audit.

LADOT traffic officers have the authority to boot or impound vehicles with five or more unpaid parking tickets. About $18.8 million remains unpaid by vehicles that fall into that category and whose registered owners have been notified they have exceeded the five-ticket minimum for impounding, according to the audit.

The report also found that DOT management effectively disbanded a unit tasked with going after scofflaws.

“This failure to deploy (LPR technology) resulted in a potential revenue loss of $5.4 million and, compounding the problem further, did nothing to promote a change in behavior for these continuous violators,” City Controller Wendy Greuel wrote in the report. “With some offenders receiving up to 20 parking citations, it is not realistic for the LADOT to believe that these scofflaws would suddenly come to their senses and pay their parking tickets simply because another ticket was slapped on their windshield.”

Since she began her audit, Greuel wrote, LADOT has re-established its scofflaw enforcement unit and LPR technology.

“In light of the budget deficit that the city of Los Angeles is facing in upcoming fiscal years, we must ensure that we are enforcing the laws on the books and that no opportunities for collecting revenues are missed,” Greuel said.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (7)
  1. john says:

    good they abuse the authority they shuld remove agency from city of los angeles waste of tax dollars if decided to pùt boot on my car i will take off send to mayor of los angeles so he could shove it up his a~~

  2. Ron says:

    First of ALL, THANK YOU Wendy Greuel. You have disclosed so many cases of government WASTE. We taxpayers really appreciate your hard work.

    How many of these violators are government employees or members of the legal community, that think they are ABOVE the law?

    Fire ALL DOT management, that made the decision to disband the enforcement unit. This is another example of corruption and waste in our government. Can you believe that $5.4 million has gone uncollected and the MANAGERS decide to get rid of the unit that can collect this money? FIRE THEM NOW. They won’t get any SMARTER.

  3. TT says:

    They should watch the show “Parking Wars” – see what they do in Philadelphia and Michigan…..I have gotten 1 or 2 over probably a few years….I pay my tickets and play by the rules – everybody else should too.

    1. TT says:

      And Yes …. THANK YOU WENDY !! We (our family ; part of the tax paying public) appreciate your hard work 🙂 Keep it up !!

    2. ArmyStud says:

      Too Funny I love that show.. with Garfield and Sherry.. dont forget Speeders and Speeders Fight Back

      1. TT says:

        i watch that one too 🙂 But we like Parking Wars so much we record it – so we dont miss an episode….

      2. ArmyStud says:

        Yeap same here wit the DVR, I love the lady who needs the Hairspary to keep her hair down….

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