STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — A parking manager with the city of Los Angeles has been fined more than $16,000 by an ethics panel for parking his own vehicles in a city-owned lot in downtown L.A. without paying.
Jose Flores must pay the city $16,705 for parking his cars inside the Pershing Square parking structure located on Hill Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, a lot he manages.
Flores was the subject of a David Goldstein investigation last year regarding his free parking. At the time, monthly parking cost $250.
Goldstein and his team staked out the structure, finding Flores had three vehicles, including a 1965 Ford Falcon with expired tags, in the lot while he walked to work from his home nearby. The panel said the vehicles remained in the garage from August 2014 to September 2017, the same month the CBS2 story aired. He was also filmed being dropped off at the site in a city vehicle.
When confronted with the allegation, Flores affably conceded he was, in fact, using the parking lot for free, saying it was a mistake and “not right”.
CBS2 estimated the cost to the city to be around $20,000. The city Ethics Commission’s assessment was about $10,040, and it could have fined him $33,410. The panel ultimately cut the amount by half given Flores’ cooperation with the agency, which voted 3 to 1 in favor of the fines Tuesday.
“Today’s vote underscores that it is essential for city employees to be good stewards of the public’s resources and that employees who are not must be held accountable,” said the panel’s acting Director of Enforcement Kirsten Pickenpaugh.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)