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I-Team: Suffolk County Jail Employees Scam Free Downtown Street Parking

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV I-Team
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Finding a place to park can be one of the most frustrating, and expensive, things about living or working in Boston. “I pay wild numbers,” one woman told us in the North End.

The I-Team has discovered some state employees figured out how to cheat the system to get free parking! We saw them routinely parking in a tow zone, steps from their jobs, and they rarely got ticketed.

The area in question is Nashua Street, a short stretch of roadway between the Suffolk County Jail and the TD Garden. When the I-Team first went there, both sides of the street were clearly marked tow zone, no stopping any time. According to the head of the city Transportation Department, there’s no room for interpretation. “If the sign says no stopping and there’s a vehicle stopped there, then tickets should be written,” Thomas Tinlin said.

Here’s the interesting part. Some of the cars did have tickets, but when the I-Team took a closer look, we noticed the tickets were old. The I-Team found four of these bogus tickets; two were nearly a year old and two were blank.

“Absolutely outrageous” were the words Tinlin used when he was told of what we had found.

So, who is driving these cars? Our under cover cameras caught jail employees placing the fake tickets on their windshields day after day, then walking, worry free, to work.

Tinlin said there is no special deal for the jail workers. “There’s no excuse here. The signs are up. The signs say ‘no stopping, no standing’ and we weren’t enforcing that,” he said.

The I-Team tracked down several of the jail employees. One of the workers told us to talk to the sheriff’s department about it. When we asked, the Suffolk County sheriff sent us this statement: “The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department does not condone the misuse of parking by any employee and directly addresses any violations brought to its attention.”

Tinlin told us that as a result of our investigation, the city installed new signs along Nashua Street. Free two-hour parking is now available to the public.

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