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Report: Boston parking-enforcement officers wrote fake tickets to skip work

“This is completely unacceptable. These are people who wield the force of public law with their ticket books.”

Parking tickets on the windshield of a vehicle in Boston. David Ryan / The Boston Globe

City officials have found “clear evidence” that six Boston parking-enforcement officers wrote fake tickets while they skipped out on work, and another six are under investigation, the Boston Herald reported Friday.

Jascha Franklin-Hodge, the city’s chief of streets, told the newspaper of the six determined to have committed misconduct, five have either resigned or retired since officials first began to probe the tickets late last year.

The sixth officer is on unpaid leave pending an upcoming hearing, he said.

According to the Herald, data analysis of tickets dating back to 2020 brought up red flags for about six other parking-enforcement officers.

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In sum, there are now three pending investigations, including an internal City Hall probe, a police investigation, and an outside review of what happened.

The city’s investigation started at the end of last year when a shipping company approached officials about tickets several of its trucks received at locations the trucks were never parked, Franklin-Hodge told the Herald.

Officials traced the tickets to one Boston Transportation Department employee, but a wider review of the department’s 130 parking-enforcement personnel yielded similar patterns involving other officers, according to the newspaper.

“This is completely unacceptable,” Franklin-Hodge told the Herald on Thursday. “These are people who wield the force of public law with their ticket books.”

The officers appear to have either made up license plate numbers for tickets or doled out fines on shipping and trucking companies, which pay the city in bulk and may not, theoretically, notice a couple of extra penalties, the newspaper reported.

“It was to create the appearance that they were working when, in fact, they were not,” Franklin-Hodge said.

It’s unclear whether officers coordinated the alleged fraud with one another.

Mayor Michelle Wu said her administration will work to hold accountable the officers responsible.

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“This breach of trust is unacceptable,” Wu said in a statement. “I’m grateful for the swift action taken by Chief Franklin-Hodge and his team, alongside BPD, once they were made aware of this issue.”

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