Parking ticket fugitives owe city millions

Posted at 10:50 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 12:39:11-04

MILWAUKEE - More than 646,000 parking tickets issued by city parking checkers have never been paid, costing the Department of Public Works upward of $32 million in uncollected fines.

A number of Milwaukee alderman, including Terry Witkowski, are trying to find a way to recoup some of that lost revenue.

"We've never been able to collect everything," Witkowski said. "There are people who aren't traceable, corporations that are not traceable."

Witkowski is in charge of a new task force charged with coming up ways to hunt down money owed to the city.

To see what the city is up against, the I-TEAM obtained a list of the city's top parking ticket fugitives.

50 license plates racked up a combined 2,676 unpaid parking tickets. Add them all up and the uncollected fines total $138,526.

For example, records show a van with license plate G0PAC2 has 39 unpaid tickets totaling $1,990.

Visits to its last known address ended with a woman telling us the registered owner did not live there.

A Lexus with license plate 936SXB came back to a house near 44th and Ridge. The city says it has 31 unpaid tickets with a total fine of $1,821.

No one ever answered and we never saw the car.

Our experiment went zero for ten, illustrating why these tens of millions of dollars remain un-collected.

As DPW explained, it uses collection notices, credit bureaus and the state's tax refund intercept program and still can't make people pay.

Which is why Alderman Witkowski and his task force will discuss handing this debt over to the state for more aggressive forms of collection.