Last Updated on October 9, 2017 by Lawrence Berezin
Using fake NYC Placards to park illegally is risky business
Joe reached the pinnacle of his profession and was a master of his universe. Last year (with bonuses) he earned in excess of 20 million dollars. Joe wanted to reward his accomplishments by purchasing a brand, spanking new Bentley. But, didn’t want to park it just anywhere on the mean streets of New York City. He’s entitled to this small PERK, right?
The Master of his universe did some investigation and decided his best solution was to purchase a fake NYC Placard that permitted him to park in the safest on-street parking spaces in NYC. And, it was only $2500 (a real bargain).
He parked for three months and was thrilled about the early returns on his $2500 investment until one morning about 4 am. There was a shockingly loud bang on his door and the next thing he knew, a bunch of police officers were standing by his bedside reading Joe his rights.
You can read about Joe in the DNA info article, “Dozens Charged With Using Forged Placards to Park Illegally”
Was using a fake NYC Placard worth the risk?
Here’s how the DNA info article opened:
Thirty people were charged Tuesday with using forged placards to park their luxury cars in spots throughout the five boroughs, including ones reserved for handicapped people and commercial drivers, law enforcement officials said.
The 30 were accused of buying the bogus laminated cards for prices ranging from $500 to $2,600 to pass themselves off as officials with local and federal agencies such as the Administration for Children’s Services, FEMA and the NYPD so they could park in prime spots mostly located in congested Lower Manhattan. The investigation stretched from March to September.
“I’m glad they got these perpetrators. It’s part of an ongoing effort to attack this problem on many fronts. We’re not going to tolerate misuse by city employees, we’re not going to tolerate private citizens who fabricate placards or misuse,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday morning.
The NYC Department of Investigation, NYPD, and the NYC Department of Transportation joined their resources to investigate the misuse of phony parking placards.
[alert type=”success” icon-size=”hide-icon”]Especially Relevant:[/alert]
-Mayor DeBlasio recently issued 50,000 parking placards for use by teachers near school property, which is a lot of curb space that was no longer available for use by the NYC driving public during certain designated days and hours. (You may recall a former Master of the Universe, Michael Bloomberg, took these placards from the Department of Education during his tenure in office)
-Mayor DeBlasio promised to clamp down on the misuse of placards by city employees shortly after issuing the placards to the Department of Education.
-These arrests were the first fruits of the Mayor’s crackdown.
-It was interesting to note that a lawyer for one of the men arrested in Placardgate said,
Lawyer Gregory Esposito, who represented Andrej Bogdanovs, 38, said his client maintained his innocence and perhaps was being made an example of.
“I definitely think it’s a bit much, and whether true or not, it’s not the crime of the century.”
In other words, this was a politically motivated witch hunt to lessen the public outcry over the 50,000 placards issued by the Mayor. And, it is much ado about nothing.
I would love to hear your reactions to all of this.
-Is it much ado about nothing?
-Is the crackdown on the misuse of parking placards a politically motivated witch hunt?
-Is it fair to issue 50,000 placards to the Department of Education?
-How about placards to the NYPD and other agencies? Is it fair?
John Q. Teacher says
Fact: NYC teachers have been issued placards forever up until 2008 when Bloomberg cut the number down by over 60 percent. These placards are ONLY usable on streets directly in front of public schools. They are NOT usable in handicap spots or fire hydrants. These parking spots for teachers are on a first come, first serve basis and it is 100 percent fair for any teacher who wants a placard to get one. It is not a “perk” to have a teacher placard since they are only usable in front of a school. The general public needs to understand this fact and not compare teacher placards with ones issued from different NYC agencies that do in fact allow people to park almost anywhere they want.
Lawrence Berezin says
Hi, John Q,
I think it is important to add that since teachers don’t live next door to their school assignments, many times travel by car is the only viable way for a teacher to get to school. Once there, it is only reasonable that there is a place to park.
Further, these spaces are off-limits to John and Jane Q Public because parking is prohibited from 7A to 4P. Ergo, these cherished parking spaces would not be available to the public, anyway.
Thanks for your heartfelt reply.
Robert Berardi says
Hi Lawrence! Great blog as always. I agree with the above writer. 50,000 placards for teachers does not mean 50,000 spots. I was issued a placard at the beginning of the school year, and so far I haven’t got one of the building’s 10 or so spots; not even once!