Lax parking enforcement has robbed the city of L.A. of nearly $15 million, money that's much needed at City Hall faces more than $450 in red ink this summer.
City Controller Wendy Greuel released an audit of the L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT) today that found that parking enforcement officers often don't pull the trigger on scofflaws that have five or more tickets. What they could and should do, she says, is boot or impound those cars -- and collect extra fines for the city.
But that hasn't always been happening. Greuel:
This review revealed significant issues of waste and financially irresponsible decisions by LADOT, which in some cases defy common sense. We cannot allow scofflaws to get away with ignoring the laws of our city. It has a material effect on the city's financial well being and is unfair to the rest of the law abiding citizens of Los Angeles.
She says $9.2 million in losses have resulted in a lack of proper enforcement on those with five or more parking tickets. Another $5.4 million has been lost, Greuel says, because the LADOT hasn't been using its License Plate Recognition (LPR) system, which can scan planes for such scofflaws.
A statement from Greuel's office:
A more troubling finding is that LADOT failed to report 73.5% of scofflaw alerts meaning that, despite having the technology to indicate that a vehicle had at least 5 - and as many as 20 - outstanding parking violations, another citation was left on the
scofflaw's windshield rather than reporting the vehicle for impound or boot. This practice
not only allows repeat violators to continue to violate the law, it also defers potential
revenue and increases the likelihood that no revenue will ever be generated for those
"We cannot afford to wait on these revenues owed to us," she said.
Interestingly we recently reported an opposite phenomenon -- someone who had paid off his tickets still being towed as a scofflaw.
LADOT interim general manager Amir Sedadi told City News Service that Greuel's premise is flawed:
Scofflaws that haven't been impounded, haven't been paid up yet, are not lost revenues. Any potential revenues are simply deferred until they're impounded and/or monies are collected. We will catch them.