Red Light Camera Runaround For Uptown Couple
A young man with chronic mental health issues and a history of drug abuse hijacks his own mother’s car, blows through four red light cameras intersections and is ultimately caught, arrested and sentenced to nine years in prison according to the Chicago Tribune’s Problem Solver column.
The parents dutifully filed all the appropriate paper work including police reports and stolen vehicle reports.
In the meantime, and for reasons unexplained in the article, the city’s Law Department came calling looking to get paid the $1,268.80 that was outstanding for the four RLC tickets and a city sticker violation which of course, had all doubled.
The story does not indicate whether the couple received the tickets or notices from the city for the RLC violations or if the tickets were contested or not.
But one can assume they were not. Perhaps the couple assumed these tickets would be dismissed automatically due to all the paperwork documenting the events surrounding the tickets. Either way, it sounds like the city’s notices for these tickets were ignored initially.
But the family contacted the Law Department, explained the situation and sent a copy of a letter from the investigating officer.
Dutifully, Merya Qandah obtained a letter from the investigating detective:
“The victim/vehicle owner was fully cooperative during the investigation that brought three felony charges against her youngest child and has endured a lengthy physical, emotional and financial burden placed upon her and her family,” Detective William Heneghan wrote. “I ask the full consideration be given to this victim’s defenses, to the above citations/tickets, in that in my opinion all citations were received during this violent period by her son and not her or other responsible parties.”
The detective included his cellphone number in the letter to the city’s Department of Revenue.
“We thought the case was closed,” Jamil Qandah said.
It was a bad assumption on Qandah’s part as a few days later, she found a bright yellow boot on the car.
She contacted the city again only to be told the letter from a Chicago Police Department Detective was not acceptable and the actual police report would be needed to make this go away.
After some scrambling, the police report was located and proffered to the city.
Case closed, right? Wrong!
The couple gets a letter a few days later saying they still owe the dough.
That’s when the Tribune’s Jon Yates stepped in and got to work.
After a few calls, a city official said the problem actually had been resolved earlier and the letter they had received went out accidentally after the violations had been dismissed.
Maybe. Maybe not. We all know how the City of Chicago works. Or doesn’t.
All in all, it’s a somewhat happy ending for the family.
Here’s the Tribune’s full blow-by-blow account, “Problem Solver: Red-light tickets add to family’s woes.”