PPA sues 25 for 308G in parking tix

PPA chief Vince Fenerty
PPA chief Vince Fenerty
Posted: February 03, 2010

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is suing 25 parking ticket scofflaws who owe $308,193.70 on 3,490 outstanding tickets.

PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty said that the civil litigation initiated yesterday - the first of its kind undertaken by the PPA - is intended to "make people more honest" about paying future tickets.

Money recovered in the lawsuits will go to the city's general fund and the school district, Fenerty said.

On average, 77 percent of parking tickets are voluntarily paid. The remaining 23 percent "is another matter," Fenerty said, which is what prompted the action in Common Pleas Court.

The PPA identified the top offender as Robert Faraco, who owes $40,580 for 430 outstanding tickets.

Faraco "shows no remorse or shame for continually violating our parking laws," Fenerty said, adding that Faraco's tickets included parking in restricted safety zones and handicapped areas. "His reckless behavior threatens the safety of our citizens and adds congestion to our streets."

In a later interview, Faraco, who owns a knife-sharpening business in Montgomery County, said that the tickets were "unjustified."

"All we're doing is making deliveries," he said, and the PPA is treating him and his employees "like we're bad people."

The scofflaw list was compiled from data on outstanding tickets from the last six years. Most of the scofflaws are individuals, Fenerty said, though several are businesses.

Other top scofflaws include Philadelphians Sergio Claudio, who owes $21,444, and Sharwin Coates, who owes $18,812. Claudio and Coates could not be reached for comment.

The PPA decided to seek legal action now because recent updates to its database allow for better tracking of cars that have been booted or impounded, Fenerty said.

As a result, the agency hired the law firm Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson about two years ago to step up its collection efforts.

Under state law, the PPA cannot seek punitive fines from any of these offenders, Fenerty said. The PPA will just be seeking the money owed on the tickets and any legal filing fees incurred in the process.

These 25 scofflaws are only the first round, Fenerty added - "many more" lawsuits are on the way.

"We have many good citizens here," he said. "There's just a few bad ones."

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