Chicago’s Parking Meter Maker Faces Series Of Setbacks
First, back in late July, during a review for a potential contract with Oklahoma City Cale was up for, The Oklahoman newspaper reported about some high profile embarrassing failures of Cale’s pay and display meter units here in Chicago. The paper reported on one incident where hundreds of their pay boxes failed downtown and then, during an early season ice storm, about the majority of all Cale’s payboxes froze up (a story broken by this website) and finally (in another story this site helped to report) issues with the accuracy of the timing on Cale payboxes.
Then in early August, the FBI and IRS raided Cale’s Tampa headquarters. They were looking for evidence incriminating the company of being involved in a kickback and bribery scandal in Portland, OR according to OregonLive.com. Allegedly, Portland’s Parking Manager and the head of Cale, were involved in a pay to play scheme which resulted in Cale scoring multi-million dollar contracts for parking meters.
As a result of this investigation, both Oklahoma City and coincidentally and humorously, Portland, Maine have both put their contracts with Cale on hold until the FBI finishes its investigation.
In the meantime, Cale has tried to explain previous issues in Chicago and defend their overall record in a letter to The Oklahoman. The letter claims Cale’s meters uptime in Chicago are 99.8%–a very impressive level of reliability.
But just yesterday, Cale’s problems may have gotten worse as Portland, Oregon’s Parking Manager resigned from his six figure salary.