D.C. Council Member Gets the Boot -- on His Car

Councilmen Brown, Thomas Jr. get fined for parking violations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCWashington.com
    D.C. Councilman Harry Thomas Jr.'s vehicle.

    Parking is the typical daily headache for most D.C. residents -- except if you’re a council member.

    D.C. council members’ cars have an official plate that allows them to park anywhere they want – except near hydrants and handicap zones. Well, two different council members recently got the “parking headache.”

    The blog DCist reported D.C. Councilman Kwame Brown’s car was towed and received a $100 ticket last Monday afternoon. An environmental consultant, Adam Landsman, actually witnessed the tow and did some investigation work after spotting the “D.C. Council At-large” license plate on the car.

    After calling around the John A. Wilson Building, Landsman discovered the car belonged to Brown and wrote this fiery e-mail, according to DCist:

    “If the rules really do apply to everyone, will you, commit to paying the ticket, or will he get it quashed, effectively saying to the public that the city council is above the law? As a voting, tax-paying, car-owning resident of the District, I would appreciate your response.”

    Apparently, Brown responded about an hour later.

    Thank you for your email. You are correct, while attending a meeting regarding my kid’s auction at a DCPS. I did not make it back to car in time, therefore it was towed. I take full responsibility and will be paying ticket online tonight.

    It's good to see the government at work doing its job.

    “I understand, I got a ticket. I didn’t yell and scream and say, ‘How dare you tow a council member’s car?’” Brown told DCist. “I was taking care of something for my kid’s school."

    Well, Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. does not appear to appreciate the government’s good work. The Examiner reports Thomas’ SUV got the boot for $655 in parking tickets.  From the Examiner:

    According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Audi was ticketed between Sept. 21 and Dec. 15 for being parked in a rush hour lane, $205, parked during street cleaning hours, $65, parked in a loading zone, $105, and parked in a bus zone, $205. The fines increase the longer they go unpaid.

    A picture of the vehicle obtained by NBC4 shows that it does not have a special D.C. Council plate on the front of it.

    Thomas said the tickets are not valid and he’s fighting back.

    In 2002, the council voted to exempt itself from most parking-related penalties -- fire hydrants and handicap zones are still off-limits.