City to review woman's $105K parking ticket bill

City to review woman's $105K parking ticket bill

City to review woman's $105K parking ticket bill

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by ABCNews.com

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 29, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 29 at 12:27 PM

(ABC News) -- The city of Chicago is reviewing the case of a single, unemployed mother saddled with the biggest parking fine in city history after she filed a lawsuit claiming that her ex-boyfriend was to blame for all the tickets.

Jennifer Fitzgerald owes Chicago a whopping $105,000 after a 1999 Chevy Monte Carlo – a used car that was bought for $600 and registered in her name – was parked at O'Hare Airport for three years starting in November 2009. It was parked there by Fitzgerald's ex, Brandon Preveau, according to a civil suit Fitzgerald has filed.

In the suit, filed against Preveau, United Airlines, and the city of Chicago, Fitzgerald contends that she should not be liable for the tickets. According to the court papers, Fitzgerald "was never the owner of the [automobile]… had no control over the [automobile] when the parking tickets were issued… [and] is not responsible for the parking tickets issued on the [automobile]."

Roderick Drew, a spokesman for the city of Chicago, told ABC News today, "The case is being reviewed and we will work with the young lady to come to a fair solution, based on the facts of the case."

Fitzgerald's attorney Robin Omahana told ABC News, "We're sort of throwing her on the mercy of the court."

There is a court date in May, but Omahana said, "We're hopeful that with or without the judge's help we'll be able to resolve it. We put forth the story and we're looking for some help from the court."

The lawyer said he hopes to hear from the city or from the ex-boyfriend.

"I'm happy to listen to them whenever they call me," Omahana said, although so far neither has called.

Drew said it is the city's understanding that the car was parked in the United Airlines' lot at O'Hare Airport. Preveau works for United Airlines.

"The operator of the vehicle was a badged employee for United Airlines and therefore had authorization to park there while working," Drew said. "It is also our understanding that the employee moved this vehicle a number of times in this United lot and that tickets being affixed to the vehicle were periodically removed. Therefore, a stack of tickets was not accruing on the vehicle."

According to the Chicago Department of Aviation, posted signs at the O'Hare lots note that if a vehicle is in a lot for more than 30 days without the lot operators being notified, then the company will attempt to contact the owner, but if the owner cannot be contacted, the vehicle will be towed to another lot before eventually being towed to the city impound lot as an abandoned vehicle.

Numerous calls from ABC News to Fitzgerald and Preveau were not answered.

For more from ABCNews.com, click here.

 

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