Seniors Furious After City Takes Money From Pensions To Pay Off Parking Tickets

CHICAGO (CBS) — Drivers who have unpaid parking tickets in Chicago have to worry about more than just having their state income tax refunds seized to pay off their debts; the city is also taking money out of some seniors’ pension checks.

Two south suburban seniors say they feel violated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the state government. Dora Green and Clantcha Miller were both surprised to see the city of Chicago took $259 out of their state pension checks. Both are retired state workers.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser spoke with them at their church, Good Shepherd Lutheran, in Robbins.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Green said there are three things you don’t mess with: “My momma, my man, and my money.”

Green and Miller said they’re not disputing the tickets, which include $100 tickets, $140 in late fees, and $15 in processing charges. They’re upset that the money came out of their pension checks, without their knowledge.

“They’re going to go into my money, without my permission? That’s a violation to me,” Green said. “They have robbed, stole and done everything to Chicago, now they’re starting on the suburbs. I don’t have nothing to say to none of them.”

Miller had a similar story to tell.

“My daughter did get a red light ticket. They never sent any more warnings. They sent the original ticket,” she said. “I think it was really … bogus is the word, but it’s a better word than that one.”

Both were aware of Emanuel’s parking ticket deal that allows the city to take overdue parking fines from state tax returns. But they couldn’t believe it when their pension checks were shorted.

Miller wanted to know what happens if someone can’t afford medicine, because their pension check was garnished.

“I could be laying out or staying at the hospital, because I couldn’t get myself the medication that I need, because you took my money without a warrant,” she said.

Pastor Anthony Williams said docking their pension checks to pay off parking tickets is “abuse.” He thinks it’s unconstitutional, and he’s demanding lawmakers do something about it.

“I think it’s abuse of civil liberties, and that’s why our legislators need to be aware of what’s happening,” he said.

If it’s seniors’ pensions now, he said, it will be Social Security checks next.

  • zatso

    You broke the law!

    You pay the fine!

    Life is not free, even though you think so.

    Both of you get some common sense, including the Preacher.


  • Bill

    I know you intended on paying,right?The real injustice is that ya’all think somebody else is responsible for your actions!No more free rides,and if you are worried about your medicine,then give up your comfort items like cigs,alcohol,lotto tickets,etc.

  • david snethen

    zatso is sorite!!!

  • lon

    if you paid your tickets like you were suppose to in the first place then you would have had nothing to worry about. try a little responsibility and you won’t be in the mess you are in. stop your whining!!!

    • Roberta Waker

      Sorry, boys. It isn’t right for the City to take STATE tax money, pension money, social security money. They don’t have any LEGAL right to do this. If they “erroneously” take money from your paycheck, pension check, Social Security check, etc. try getting it back. There must be other ways to get this money LEGALLY. Chicago does NOT have the authority to take this money. Take away the person’s car, suspend their plates or driver’s license until these fines are paid – there ARE other alternatives.

      • the rapture

        the daughter got the ticket – why don’t she pay mama back

      • Duude

        You mean a more costly way? A way that might require someone retrieving it through other means like mailing out repeated notices till they pay or else? Gimme a break! They didn’t pay because they didn’t want to.

  • D Berggy

    Pay your stupid tickets…no problem!

    • Roberta Waker

      While I agree that these people should PAY their tickets; it makes me very uncomfortable that the City is using questionable tactics to get this money. When you sign a contract and default on payments; the person you owe has the authority to garnish your wage or pension or even repossess the item. Getting a ticket is not the same as a contract and if the City can take money from anyone for tickets, what about property taxes, city stickers, fines for not mowing your lawn, shoveling your sidewalk or any other minor violation? Where will it stop?

  • G-Lep

    Even though I gotta soft spot for the elderly (that includes you, THEEEEE Yard Ape!), and this action seems, prima facie, cold, I’ll say this: PAY YER DAMN PARKIN TICKETS, AND YOU WON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!!!

    I have spoken. Bow before me!!

    • THEE Yard Ape

      C-Lip – Iz yo last line aimed at your blue-gum-negress?? LOL !!!! U young fuk!!!!

      • G-Lep

        ‘Least ya know what “prima facie” means.

  • ak

    Justice served…taxpayers 1, scofflaws 0…keep it up Rahm…


    REALLY ! Sorry, no sympathy….pay your fines.

  • bobhamiltonchicago

    They are really going to be upset when they find out that there is no more money to pay their pensions or free health care. Sorry about that.

    • ak

      unfortunately for us taxpayers on the hook for paying entitlement benefits [retiree pensions and healthcare] to the legion of those political parasites [patronage employees] who added no value during their tenure as city employees



    • ak


  • bowhunter

    I think they should have paid the fines. On the other hand where dose it stop and how do you stop these crooks in office from taking your last penny.

  • me, who else???

    time to burn city hall castle and hang king rahm up by his toes

  • retiredinAz1

    I agree with this 100%! Hey, you were fined….pay your bills!

  • Just the Average Joe

    This is called, no more BS excuses, we are getting the money now. The only reason the other creditors don’t get the money from the accounts of these deadbeats, is they don’t have the same powers as the city. Cry me a river you poor pensioners.

  • zatso

    For pensioners seeking employment for a few extra bucks to settle auto fines, please note, I believe The City of Harvey, IL is seeking testers for untested Rape Kits in their possession.

    I’m sure polite inquiries will be handled discreetly.


    • G-Lep

      You’re a sick and nervous man, zatso. LOL!!

  • Tunsiss

    Boo hoo hoopay for your dam ned tickets.

  • BrendaRose

    I happen to know a senior that had tickets, one for turning on red after 7 a.m., and one for parking more than 12 inches from the curb. He rec’d these notices in the mail – went to the DMV – and they put him on a senior payment plan for $6.80 a month until he’s paid off. THAT SIMPLE!

  • the rapture

    your daughter got the red light ticket –

    so why isn’t she paying for the ticket instead of sticking you with it – sounds like the a real upstanding and responsible person – make the little bee-atch pay you back…..

  • donaanademocrats

    Cry me a river!

  • truth be told

    O J Simpson`s pension couldn`t be touched after what he went through,wht are these people being messed with

  • Phylisa

    This situation is a little different. Tell me how fair is it if the city takes your car because of drugs in the your car which someone else was driving. Then you go to pay the fine and they say they can’t allow you to pay now and they can’t release the car because it is being held for investigation.. The fine now went from $1160 to $1600. “You then sign over your car which was evaulated at $2450 and still ended up paying $2080, therefore paying almost $5000 for the fine.

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