The debacle was revealed Monday night in Brian Maass’ report. The CBS4 Investigation revealed that two Denver parking agents wrote the tickets in 2009 and 2010 even though one’s legal certification had lapsed and the City never even gave the second vehicle control agent any legal authorization.
Many legal observers opined that since the ticket writers had no legal standing, the tickets, valued at perhaps $1 million, should be voided and the money refunded to drivers.
The statement from the city, released Thursday afternoon, reads, “The vehicle control agents in question had authority to issue parking citations as part of their official duties as employees of the City of Denver by ordinance. Additionally, after a citation is paid, each case is permanently closed and is not subject to reversal. Denver Public Works Right of Way Enforcement will adhere to this opinion and no refunds will be issued for the citations in question.”
Ann Williams, a spokesperson for Mayor Bill Vidal, said there would be no further explanation and refused to allow anyone from the City to be interviewed about the decision.
“It borders on the insulting,” said Greg Rawlings, a former Denver City Attorney who believes the tickets were worthless. ”They seem intent on creating a scenario where it is the City and County of Denver versus the Citizens of Denver. They obviously seem to think they are more important than the folks who pay their salaries.”
Equally peeved with the City decision, and the lack of explanation, is attorney Harvey Steinberg.
“It’s typical government. They want to hold everyone accountable except for themselves,” said Steinberg.
Steinberg contends the tickets should have been voided, the money refunded.
“For once wouldn’t it be refreshing if they said, ‘We messed up and we’ll give people their money back.’ The day that happens is the day we have good government,” said Steinberg.
Denver attorney Gary Pirosko infers from the city statement that they are banking on nobody suing over the dubious tickets.
“The City Attorney is intentionally saying ‘call my bluff,’“ said Pirosko. “It appears to any reasonable person this is an intellectually dishonest response from the City Attorney’s office. If they had solid footing, they would show us the solid footing. They say “we’re the government and we’ll do what we want.”
Both vehicle control agents, William Shirland and Paul Lucero, have been taken off ticket duty and placed in other jobs