Audit: LA Mayor, Council Members Used ‘Gold Card’ To Erase Parking Tickets
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An audit by the city controller’s office found the Dept. of Transportation squandered the chance to boost the city’s coffers and even ran a scheme that allowed the politically connected to have their parking tickets erased.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the failure of the LADOT to investigate complaints may have cost the city over $100,000 in much-needed revenue.
City Controller Wendy Greuel said on Thursday the audit also found the department failed to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars more for registration violations.
In a move she called “ridiculous”, Greuel said the city has been wasting even more money by paying a company to process parking tickets that had been voided by parking officers.
The investigation also found a so-called “Gold Card Desk” where the mayor, council members and their staff could lobby to get tickets reduced or dismissed for people who complained.
Greuel said the special treatment is clearly against the public interest.
“I believe very strongly that you should not need political pull to expedite the investigation of a ticket,” said Greuel.
During the period covered in the audit, over 1,000 tickets were canceled through the Gold Card desk — with no documented explanation accompanying the vast majority of dismissals.
LADOT has since shut down the Gold Card Desk.