Jennifer Fitzgerald claims she doesn't own the car, and was set up
The all-time record for most parking tickets in the city of Chicago goes to one Jennifer Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald claims she had no knowledge of owning the car that caused her problems, and racked up more than $100,000 (€77,000) in unpaid fines.The 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which is probably worth about $600 (€462) today, has been parked at O'Hara Airport in Chicago, Illinois for almost three years. The exact total in fines that Fitzgerald is due the state is $105,761.80 (€81,468), The Newspaper writes.
According to the Chicago Department of Finance, Fitzgerald was issued 678 bright orange parking tickets, beating out the previous holder of the record, with 400 violations.
The 31-year-old, single mother claims her ex-boyfriend Brandon Preveau, an employee with United Airlines, bought the car in her name, registered and parked it there, deliberately setting her up for large fines.
She knew about the car since November 2009, when he had parked it in Parking Lot E, a spot reserved to personnel, Daily Telegraph reports.
“On or before November 17, 2009, Brandon drove the automobile into the parking lot and never drove it out again,” Fitzgerald states in a complaint she filed against Preveau and United Airlines.
She has filed a suit on November 2, in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming she is not liable for the tickets, as her ex had registered the car in her name without her knowledge. She has taken legal action to remove her name from said registration records since then, to no avail.
A spokesperson for the Department of Aviation explains that the car should have been towed within a month after being abandoned in the airport parking lot, however it stayed there until 2012.
“If a vehicle is in a lot for more than 30 days and Standard Parking was not notified, then the company will try to contact the owner to find out his plans to get the vehicle ... If Standard cannot contact the owner, then the vehicle is towed to Lot F, where it might remain for 30 to 90 days, in case the owner comes back for it. After that period, the vehicle is towed to the city impound lot as abandoned,” O'Hare regulations read.