CHICAGO (CBS) — The first deputy commissioner for the Chicago Department of Aviation has been caught breaking the law over and over without getting caught.
As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported, there is a no–parking sign in plain sight, warning of a tow zone, where a car with city plates has been seen parked night after night in front of a South Loop building.
It was a high-ranking city official who ignored the sign, which is right near his home, without ever getting a single ticket.
Williams confronted Department of Aviation First Deputy Commissioner Richard Butler: “Can we ask you why you’re parking here? It’s an illegal spot.”
The spot is located on 13th Street between Michigan and Indiana avenues. Neighbors shared a photo of the Toyota RAV4 with Chicago municipal license plates parked in the same illegal spot over and over again.
It was spotted a half dozen times last week alone, neighbors said.
“I didn’t realize it was an illegal spot,” Butler said.
Williams replied, “The sign’s there and the car’s been here day after day after day.”
We saw it ourselves. On Sunday afternoon, the car was in the no-parking zone, and on Sunday night, it was still there. It was back on Monday night, and gone during work hours on Tuesday, but back yet again on Tuesday night.
We didn’t see one parking ticket on the windshield of the city car, which Butler is allowed to take home.
Butler is the number two official in the department responsible for Chicago’s airports.
In Chicago, drivers are slapped with millions of parking tickets a year. Some get the dreaded yellow boot, and other drivers like John Smith know they had better obey the rules.
Smith said if he parked his car in such a fashion, he would “get a ticket every night.”
When asked about the fact that the rules are different for him than they are for Butler, Smith said, “That’s messed up, man.”
A Department of Revenue spokeswoman told us city employees with take home privileges are required to park legally, unless they’re conducting official business and no legal spots are available.
Williams: “You get to take the car home, but don’t you think you should just park in a garage or find a legal spot like everybody else around here?”
Butler: “Yes sir.”
But Butler will no longer be allowed to do that in a city car. Aviation Department sources told CBS 2 his take-home privileges have been revoked.
Sources also said the seven Aviation Department employees who still have take-home privileges have been told to obey the parking signs.
Butler makes $175,000 a year. His city biography says he has 37 years of experience managing a wide range of programs throughout the city.
City officials have not explained why Butler’s city car was not ticketed.