imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Want to get out of traffic tickets

by Government is corrupt Saturday, May. 21, 2011 at 6:04 AM

Slip the mayor a ,000 political contribution (the same as a bribe but legal) and get a VIP Gold Card which will get you out of traffic ticket fines in Los Angeles

Want to get out of t...
gold_card_no_traffic_ticket.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x256

Los Angeles Gold Card gets VIPs out of traffic tickets Friends with the Mayor? The "Gold Card Desk" will help you get out of traffic tickets Friends with the Mayor? The "Gold Card Desk" will help you get out of traffic tickets

Source

'Gold Card Desk' dismissed some L.A. parking tickets without justification, audit finds

By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times

May 20, 2011

Approximately 1,000 Los Angeles city parking citations over a two-year period were dismissed — some without justification — through an obscure service known as the "Gold Card Desk" that allows the mayor and other elected officials to fast-track citation reviews, a new audit has found.

The service, which few outside of city government appear to know about, partly involves a plastic parking bureau "Gold Card" that is distributed to city offices. It includes a special phone number to call and on the back side notes that the holder may have an "urgent need to resolve any parking citation matter which requires special attention." It promises "you will be immediately connected to our Gold Card Specialist."

The program was started about 20 years ago to permit officials and their staff to expedite constituent appeals of parking tickets and possibly have fines reduced or eliminated. But auditors took issue with the service during a review of the city Department of Transportation.

City Controller Wendy Greuel, who released the report Thursday, raised the specter that some people may have received special treatment in the handling of contested tickets.

"You should not need political pull to expedite the investigation of a ticket," said Greuel, a possible candidate for mayor. "There were no specific policies to guide the review of these citations … we believe causing a rift for inappropriate cancellations."

Greuel's audit said the Gold Card referral service is provided exclusively to the mayor's office and council district offices.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office challenged that Thursday afternoon, providing figures it had received indicating that about 90% of some 5,600 requests for Gold Card reviews came from within the transportation department and other sources in recent years, though it did include hundreds of requests from the mayor and City Council offices.

The L.A. mayor's office also released information showing Greuel voted to approve a contract that included the Gold Card program, that she had been briefed on the program and that staff members in her office used the service while she was on the council.

Greuel said she did not know about the service until recently and that the audit's findings — and her recommendation that the Gold Card Desk be eliminated — stood independently of any past actions.

Auditors sampled 40 dismissals involving the Gold Card Desk. Greuel said that in "90% of those cases there was not a paper trail [showing] where those original requests came from or justification for that dismissal."

All that was found in those cases were directives from transportation department managers to reduce fines or dismiss tickets, Greuel said. Overall, Greuel said it was unclear what percentage of the dismissals were done for justifiable reasons. Her office said the investigation could not pinpoint the source of all the referrals.

Officials with the Department of Transportation defended the program's integrity. They said the desk was created in response to elected officials' requests to have a central point to send complaints about citations.

"It's not intended to have any special consideration or dismissal, but rather an opportunity for an individual to be heard," said Robert Andalon, a senior transportation department official.

He said there are two employees in charge of the Gold Card Desk, and that they act as ombudsmen. They were hired by the department's ticket-processing contractor, Affiliated Computer Services, he said.

The transportation department's interim general manager, Amir Sedadi, said the department plans to discontinue the program in its upcoming contract.

At a news conference Thursday, transportation department officials handed out fact sheets that included a description of the Gold Card Desk. It said "all contested citations, including those referred through the [Gold Card Desk] are reviewed using the exact same procedures."

But, according to the audit, some of the tickets receiving expedited reviews were tossed out solely based on the violator's self-proclaimed inability to pay — a complaint Greuel's investigation portrayed as a dubious reason for dismissal. Some tickets were eliminated without the required paperwork. Other requests for dismissal did not include any reason at all.

The program appears virtually unknown to most ticket recipients. Dozens of those who showed up Thursday to pay citations at an enforcement office downtown said they had never heard of the service.

"I wish they did let us know about it," said 55-year-old Donny Legans, who arrived to pay an ticket. Legans then asked officials inside about the program but was told it did not exist.

"They said there is no such thing. You can't appeal," said Legans, who works in the air-conditioning business. "They told me: You have 30 days to pay this ticket or it will be doubled."

Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Villaraigosa, said the mayor's office had periodically used the program as one of many ways to help constituents.

Callers who thought they didn't deserve certain citations are referred to the Gold Card Desk, she said, adding that the program is open to anyone, not just VIPs or insiders.

"Any resident of the city who feels they received a citation in error, or who needs a sidewalk repaired or graffiti removed can call the mayor's office for assistance," Hamilton said. The Gold Card Desk is a comparable "resource for constituents."

Who else used the service remains a puzzle, even to auditors. Several council members said they had not heard of or used the program.

Councilwoman Jan Perry said that several years ago her staff was briefed about the program, but that she believed neither she nor her staff had ever used it.

Councilman Dennis Zine said he also had heard of the service but never used it and said that "if we can establish or reduce fines, that's news to me."

Another council member, Richard Alarcon, said someone came to his office several years ago to train his staff on the Gold Card program. He provided a memo from the city's ticket contractor explaining that the service is only to help constituents.

"These services are only available for those who have taken their concerns regarding parking citations to the Parking Violations Bureau, but have been unable to come to a resolution based on extenuating circumstances," the memo states.

The audit released Thursday is the second in a series of three focusing on the city transportation department. The first audit, released in April, found that the department had missed out on up to million in revenues because it had gone easy on chronic scofflaws who rack up multiple unpaid parking tickets.

The new audit also found the department pays the ticket-handling contractor to process citations even when they have been voided by a traffic officer because of mistake or error. The city paid more than 0,000 in fees related to those type of voided citations during the audit period from July 2008 to June 2010.

Another finding was that the department missed out on revenue for many years because it failed to aggressively pursue collections from "protective plate holders" such as police officers, firefighters and social workers, among others.

The audit found that 30% of citations issued to protective plate holders from 2005 to 2010 had not been paid.

"Protective plates should not be used as a get-out-of-jail-free card," Greuel said.

Sedadi said he was reviewing the audit's findings and that the department had "already implemented many of the controller's recommendations and have taken management actions to address some of the findings."

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Where did that gold card image go??? Your software has bugs in it Saturday, May. 21, 2011 at 6:08 AM
There's A Book In The Library System Fred Snider Saturday, May. 21, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy