Serial City Parking Permit Abuser Snagged by Streetsblog Placard “Crackdown” Smackdown

The Human Resources Administration says it took this city car away from a serial placard abuser. But what about the next staffer who drives it?
The Human Resources Administration says it took this city car away from a serial placard abuser. But what about the next staffer who drives it?

There’s one less NYC employee abusing a parking placard.

After Streetsblog published photos of a Human Resources Administration employee repeatedly stowing a city-owned vehicle in no parking zones in Inwood, the agency says it has taken action.

“We take the misuse and abuse of city parking privileges seriously,” HRA spokesperson Lourdes Centeno told Streetsblog in an email. “Despite multiple warnings, this employee continued to violate the privilege and as a result we’ve taken away the vehicle.”

Centeno said the agency is pursuing additional disciplinary action against the employee, whom HRA declined to identify.

Of course it’s possible the vehicle in question will be used by another staffer who will just pick up where the first placard abuser left off. As long as NYPD ignores parking rule violators — many of whom are cops — and Mayor de Blasio hands out placards like candy, misuse by city employees will remain a problem.

Word is the mayor didn’t mention placard abuse at a Wednesday closed-door meeting with traffic enforcement agents, which is further evidence that de Blasio’s so-called “crackdown” is about as genuine as a New York State Numismatic Agency permit.

  • JarekFA

    You guys should do a series like this where you focus on isolated incidents of repeat offenders. It may be “small bore,” but it can get results and raise awareness. I’m thinking of DoorZone’s daily efforts to get education placard abusers to stop parking all over the crosswalks by his kid’s school.

    Like if you have a serial offender in your neighborhood, it sticks out and people know and get pissed. Like, why does this person get to flout the ASP laws or park at a meter over night.

  • It’s in the works. Almost launched with this post but then some new pics came in and we’ll kick things off with those.

  • Ken Dodd

    “Of course it’s possible the vehicle in question will be used by another staffer who will just pick up where the first placard abuser left off.” Or, even more likely, the offender in question will pick up where he left off because they didn’t take away his car or discipline him in any way. Mark my words, they won’t see anything wrong with what he was doing down at the HRA. These government agencies are one big brotherhood of lies and corruption.

  • I think corruption is a better word than abuse.

  • Brad Aaron

    “Or, even more likely, the offender in question will pick up where he left off because they didn’t take away his car or discipline him in any way.”

    Possible. If true, the offender will have to move to another neighborhood to avoid discovery.

  • djx

    Aww c’mon, whatever happened to “professional courtesy”?

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    Shouldn’t it be a point of pride that all New York City employees take advantage of the greatest public transportation system in the world in order to carry out their appointed tasks?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/nyregion/city-owned-vehicle-miles-crashes-de-blasio.html

  • Toddster

    Can;t wait!

  • Jesse

    Street Justice

  • Vooch

    of course the question not being asked – ‘Why does this guy even have a taxpayer provided car ?’

    It’s much faster to get around in NYC by Citbike or subway.

  • muffinstumps

    I have a question: are these cars supposed to be taken home at night and parked on residential streets? There are 2 in my neighborhood all the time and I thought it was unusual. I always thought these cars were used on the job only, and then left at whatever agency they came from – not parked at the employee’s home overnight.

  • walks bikes drives

    It depends. Some employees, usually executive level, are assigned vehicles for their individual use, as in not shared with another employee. These vehicles often go home with the employee and are allowed to be used for official business only, however a commute is apparently considered official business. But these are often employees who go to multiple sites and meetings that might be leaving straight from home rather than going into the office first. Personally, I agree with you that all car should be centrally stored and not go home with anyone.

  • walks bikes drives

    So make something that has enough following that NYPD has to take notice. Plus, automatically sending them the info and photo as soon as they are posted could make it that much better.

    I’ve got a handful of repeat offenders to toss off to ya.

  • walks bikes drives

    Nice work.

  • Urbanely

    Unless there is vehicle storage in each borough for each agency (which there isn’t), it’s usually more efficient for the employees to take the cars home. The commute is actually not considered official business unless you’re at the executive level. A low level city employee can’t file a worker’s comp claim for an injury that happens during their commute in the city car—even if they were leaving their house to go to a work location— but the mayor can file a claim for the same commute.

  • walks bikes drives

    Not hard. Signage in front of the office building that holds the city agency – no standing except agency vehicles. Vehicle storage created. Cost? Two signs.

  • Urbanely

    But that still doesn’t really address the issue of employees being in different locations from the work sites. If you live in Queens but have to go to a DOB meeting in the Bronx, there probably won’t be a car in Queens for you unless you take one home with you from the DOB office in Manhattan. There’s not a large enough volume of offices and employees who require cars outside Manhattan to make it work. I say this as someone who spent the majority of my City career working outside Manhattan and only got to ride in a City car about 5 times.

  • walks bikes drives

    Have a car assigned to you at your office and park at your office. If you have a 9am meeting in the Bronx and you live in Queens but work in Manhattan? Either make the meeting later or get into Manhattan earlier.

    I write this as a city employee who often had meetings all over the borough and would drive a city truck to get there. Except when it made more sense to take the subway. Had to pick the truck up, even if I was meeting on Randalls Island and had to pick up the truck in the Bronx and lived in Manhattan.

  • Urbanely

    So wouldn’t you have found it easier/more efficient to just have the truck with you in Manhattan instead of making the extra stop?

    I took the subway to most meetings unless it was something like Owl”s Head or certain Bronx sites, but I don’t generally see a problem with employees taking the car home after work and using it for a work purpose immediately the next day. The cars all have GPS, so there’s always a record of where people are going.

  • walks bikes drives

    Yeah, I do see a problem with it. People who ate taking the car home are taking it home regularly. Example: there is an unmarked city car from the FDNY which is parked in my neighborhood nightly. Recently it has been parking legally, but for a long time, it seemed to prefer a no standing zone. As a tax payer, I am paying for this guy’s commute on a daily basis, not just the wear and tear on the car, but his gas and the environmental effects of the car.

    Yeah, it would have been more convenient for me to have brought the truck home, but then I have to deal with parking – unless of course I just parked it illegally. Efficiency with regard to thd city’s dime, no, taking it home wpuld have used more gas.

    Now we parked illegally all the time while on the job. If we were running into a place to pick up lunch, we would park in a hydrant because, if there was a need for the hydrant, we just moved, and the likelihood of their being an issue in the 10 minutes we were stopped was almost non existent. Theory was, don’t waste the gas driving around for a spot, or take up a legal spot that a non city vehicle could use. But this was not parking long term. I’m talking minutes. Otherwise, if we needed the trucks stationed specifically for the job we were doing, on went the strobes.

    In some states, state troopers bring their cars home. But they would officially go on the job the instant they left home. A city employee for DoB? Not the same.

    And lastly, if these people injure or kill someone while driving a city vehicle as part of their commute, the liability falls in the city. Again, my tax payer dime.

    So no, outside of the Mayor and maybe the Police Commissioner, I don’t think there is any city employee who deserves door to door service. Send a car for the OEM Commish if there is an emergency. Otherwise, take the subway lake everyone else.

  • Urbanely

    I see your points but I think part of the problem is the abuse of the privilege. Just because someone gets a City car doesn’t mean they’re entitled to park any and everywhere, despite the fact that people do it with impunity under this administration.

    I agree with you that very few employees should have door to door service on a regular basis, but I’d prefer to know that someone is driving, if the drive saves time in the long run, than having them take the subway if the subway is not the most efficient option. I think some of these things are fact specific.

    Liability for injuries sustained during the course of the commute to the work site don’t automatically fall on the City just because it’s City vehicle. As with any collision, it depends on the circumstances. The Law Department has a whole process for determining whether/when to defend employees, and at least in the last administration they were pretty good about being sure that employees knew that they represented the City as opposed to the actual employee in the event of a collision. I’m not familiar with how it’s handled now.

  • muffinstumps

    Thanks for the reply.

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