by KYW’s Mike Dunn
It was a “friends and family” plan of the sort that only the connected get: a ticket-fixing operation at the Philadelphia agency that hears appeals of parking tickets.
And now some workers there are out of work.
Philadelphia inspector general Amy Kurland says a probe has uncovered rampant corruption at the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication (“BAA”), which hears appeals of tickets issued by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Kurland says that corruption started at the top, with the woman who has run the agency for several years, deputy finance director Clorise Wynn.
Kurland says that Wynn routinely fixed hundreds of parking tickets for family and friends — including 35 for her daughter — and she allowed this corruption to spread through the agency:
“There was basically no policy to prevent ticket-fixing among co-workers, friends, family, and acquaintances of the people who worked there. The integrity of the entire department was compromised.”
Kurland says that Wynn even fixed tickets for an unnamed company in exchange for some culinary treats:
“She received things of value from the company — she received free food and discounted food as well.”
In addition to Wynn, three others at the BAA and two at the Parking Authority were also implicated. Wynn and two others have resigned and the other three have been fired.
Mayor Nutter is vowing reform at the BAA:
“We have some tightening up to do. We want to reaffirm to the public that we are on top of it, that this is unacceptable behavior at any level. Appropriate steps will be taken to not only root out what we’ve just found, but do our best to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future.”
The reforms will include training for hearing examiners who hear ticket appeals and other BAA employees.
Nutter says the process will be cleaned up:
“There are no deals, there are no breaks. This is not the phone company — we don’t have a friends and family plan.”
Kurland said her findings have been forward to the city’s district attorney, Seth Williams.