CHICAGO (CBS) — The CBS 2 Investigators are on the case of multiple tickets written in a no-parking school zone.
The only thing is that it happened during summer break at a time when no kids were in class. So what was going on?
One viewer turned to CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker for help, and Tucker got results.
“They said it was over $300 to appeal the ticket,” said Mia Wills. “That’s when I emailed Channel 2. I’m like, c’mon.”
Let’s go back to the beginning – the morning of June 25 – as Wills arrived from work.
“So it was a parking space and I parked,” Wills said.
The space was in a school-zone no-parking area, across the street from a Chicago public school. It restricts parking to official school personnel from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on school days, but this was four days after the last bell had rung for the summer.
But Wills got a ticket anyway.
“Then (I) came outside and had the ticket,” Wills said.
Wills found only a piece of the parking ticket and thought the officer must have realized school had ended and ripped it up. But that was not what happened.
“But then I received a notice in the mail,” she said.
Right after the notice arrived in July, Wills contested the ticket online and sent in proof.
“I sent the Google Map with that sign right there. I tried to capture the area and the address on the ticket, but you really can’t because it’s all open,” Wills said.
She also explained how school had ended on June 21.
Despite that seemingly sufficient evidence, the administrative law judge in Wills’ case ruled her liable on Aug. 15.
“The other car was dismissed. Why would you dismiss the car in front of me, but make me liable for the ticket?” Wills said. “I was just surprised with the decision. I was flabbergasted.”
CBS 2 did a little digging and found that the same law judge that handled Wills’ case dismissed one other car’s ticket two weeks earlier. That driver sent in three really good photos, CBS 2 is told, as well as a school calendar showing the last day of class.
Wills can’t believe the different decisions.
“I’m, like, liable,” she said. “There was no school.”
And to make things worse, Wills learned how much it would cost her to appeal.
“I was like, $300 to appeal a $100 ticket?” Wills said.
When CBS 2 took Wills’ case to the Department of Finance, we got an email that changed everything.
The email from Office of Budget Management and Department of Finance Commissioner Kristen Cabanban read: “The Department of Finance has reviewed the evidence submitted by Ms. Wills and also confirmed that school was not in session on the date the violation was issued. DOF will submit a petition to vacate the liable judgment to the Department of Administrative Hearings for ticket #70543479. The process to dismiss this ticket may take up to a couple of weeks.”
Tucker brought a print-out of the email to Wills, who smiled as the message confirmed her argument “that school was not in session on the date the violation was issued
And with the petition to vacate, Wills will no longer have to pay the $367 for the appeal, nor the $100 ticket.
“I feel great,” Wills said.