As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain't over 'til it's over.” My parking-citation saga, chronicled in the Feb. 27 issue of CityBeat (the result of a stealthy street-sweep-sign switcheroo), seemed to have a happy ending: After spending several hours trying to get the information that would help me protest the ticket—and getting cooperation only after I said I was a reporter—I was told that my ticket would be dismissed and that everyone else who was ticketed that day was off the hook, too.
I felt like Erin Brockovich—or at least a leggier version of Michael Turko.
So, imagine my surprise when, a few days after the story was published, I received a letter informing me that I owed $40 on the ticket. And if I didn't pay it by March 24, the fine would double.
I lagged for more than a week, dreading the same ordeal I encountered the first time around. I finally called the number on the back of the ticket but gave up after 15 minutes. I called the next day and waited on hold for 70 minutes. I had to pee, but I refused to leave my phone. Then I got disconnected—ends up the phone system was down.
I called the next afternoon, and this time a human answered—a manager, in fact. She said the people in her office had read my story, but she confirmed that I still owed $40—no one in her office had received any official word about tickets being dismissed.
Long story short: I made more phone calls and fired off a few e-mails. The guy who originally said the citation had been dismissed promised that my ticket—and the others—would be dismissed. I've heard that before. Stay tuned.