Car racks up $106,000 in airport parking fines

The vehicle remained in an employee lot for nearly 3 years until the city of Chicago got around to towing it.

By Kim Peterson Aug 28, 2013 2:53PM
A 'Denver Boot' wheel lock attached to a car at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (© Tim Boyle/Getty Images)In what city can a car receive 678 parking tickets over three years before being towed?

That would be Chicago, where authorities can finally close the book on the notorious purple 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that was abandoned in an employee lot at O'Hare International Airport.

The car's owner, Jennifer Fitzgerald, was slapped with a total fine of nearly $106,000 -- the highest parking tab in city history. She recently settled and will pay just less than $4,500, The Chicago Tribune reports.

On the bright side, Fitzgerald can probably claim the best parking deal in O'Hare history. Her settlement means she paid about $4 a day, MoneyTalksNews calculates.

Fitzgerald sued the city to get out of the fine, and said in her lawsuit that her ex-boyfriend, Brandon Preveau, bought the car from her uncle and used it to drive to his job at O'Hare. But her uncle signed the title of the car over to Fitzgerald.

Preveau abandoned the car for reasons that are unclear. And that left Fitzgerald to clean up the mess. But she didn't, missing court dates over the years as the tickets piled up. She has previously said she had no access to the employee lot and that she had given Preveau her spare set of keys.

The car was ticketed multiple times for improperly tinted windows, lacking proper stickers, expired plates or registration, cracked or missing windows and broken lamps, The Tribune reports.

Fitzgerald also has several thousand dollars in parking tickets related to another vehicle in her name, The Tribune adds.

Now, Preveau has agreed to pay $1,600 of the settlement, and Fitzgerald will make monthly payments of $78 over the next three years to pay the rest.

And airport parking officials can finally be rid of the car that likely drove them nuts for years.

More on moneyNOW

Aug 28, 2013 3:27PM

And how many man hours and time was wasted constantly re-ticketing this vehicle and logging it into the city's system? How many tickets are enough? The meter maids that placed the tickets towards the end should be reprimanded; why the hell would you keep putting tickets on the car? Just doing my job, not thinking at all, its clear no one is coming to get it. There is no reason for this to happen. It cost the city more than they will ever get out of it. After a set amount of time the car should've been towed. After sitting in impound for a set amount of time with or without action from owner the car should've been auctioned off or sold for scrap. This lack of common sense is just an example of the inefficiencies we see in government and a reason why government costs are so high and cities are going broke.


I think its time

Aug 28, 2013 3:17PM
Proving once again, you can't fix stupid.
Aug 28, 2013 3:30PM
why would anyone, individual or parking authority, let a car sit for 3 yrs. Can someone please make a decision, a basic easy decision ? Instead, the courts time is wasted, lawyers make money, all a huge stupid waste. Everyone involved should be ashamed.
Aug 28, 2013 3:43PM
Reminds me of the North Dakotan who went to a downtown Manhattan bank and asked for a loan of 5000 dollars, Banker asked for a collateral for which he gave the bank his 100,000 dollar porsche, Bank offered an APR of 15% which he agreed to, Came back a week later, paid them 5015 bucks got his car back and told the teller on the way out ............."best parking deal I ever got in Manhattan"
Aug 28, 2013 3:38PM
Only in Chicago.  Surprised it didn't have a billion bullet holes in it sitting idle for 3 years.  Anyway, classic dumb and dumber.  Lets waste all our precious time re-ticketing a car for three years, go to court to try and recover the $106,000, to finally settle for $4500. 
Aug 28, 2013 3:15PM
Wow.  Most airports get the title and sell the vehicle if its not claimed by a certain date
Aug 28, 2013 3:38PM
Stupid all around.  The owner for not taking responsibility and the city for issuing fines they new would never be paid.  What a waste of taxpayers money.  Probably helped the parking gestapo make a bunch of monthly quotas though.
Aug 28, 2013 4:08PM
What can I say?  It's Chicago where common sense is nonexistent,
Aug 28, 2013 3:45PM
So totally typical of Chicago . . .  They don't know what to do, and on top of that, once they figure out what to do, they don't know how to do it. 

Is this why they still don't have any reasonable regulations on carrying firearms . . . ?  Or is that a totally separate story of incompetence?
Aug 28, 2013 4:08PM
Car should have just been towed. Bill her for some tickets and the tow, problem solved. Just lazy ticket givers. Getting the extra tickets for tinted windows is just low, and the officer should not ever be cut any slack, EVER.
Aug 28, 2013 3:43PM
Just goes to show that parking enforcement officers are a bunch of scumbags.
Aug 28, 2013 3:53PM
Its because abandoned cars give parking cops a way to pad their books to look dilligent.  So when they see an abandoned car they can ticket, they just keep ticketing it (for weeks, months, years!!!) rather than have it removed.  

If your car is an inch over a boundary line (or sometimes not even), they will figure out how to write you four tickets, every 30 minutes, and you'll come back to your car with 30 some tickets the next day.   Half the tickets will be flying around your car, in a maelstrom, having detached  from all the wind in that city.

Aug 28, 2013 4:22PM
Duhhh! I'm just a Public Utilities Union member, don't expect me to think or be competent, just send me my paycheck!!!  Gotta love Chicago---NOT !!!!!
Aug 28, 2013 3:12PM
should have crushed the car period.
Aug 28, 2013 3:14PM

Should have taken the car and crushed it for scrap. Notify the Registry and had her license pulled indefinitely. Amen

















Chicago PD..... Eyes on the street.....


Three years to notice the car hasnt moved....


Book em Danno!

Aug 28, 2013 3:31PM
Aug 28, 2013 3:39PM
It seem's like there's no mercy among the post here.

Aug 28, 2013 4:07PM
$4 a day a pretty good deal she got at the end. I wonder if i miss reading the story ... why did it take 3 years for her to figure out how to get the car out of the employee lot ? Was she in the coma or was she unsuccessfully going from one agency to another ?
Aug 28, 2013 4:01PM
This person will just file bankruptcy and leave taxpayers holding the bag. What else is new?
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?


[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages posted solid gains ahead of tomorrow's policy directive from the Federal Open Market Committee. The S&P 500 rallied 0.8%, while the Russell 2000 (+0.3%) could not keep pace with the benchmark index.

Equity indices hovered near their flat lines during the first two hours of action, but surged in reaction to reports from the Wall Street Journal concerning tomorrow's FOMC statement. Specifically, Fed watcher Jon Hilsenrath indicated that the statement ... More