The director of the agency that oversees parking enforcement in Prince George’s County says a parking officer indicted Tuesday for issuing false tickets might have been trying to cover up a lack of work — not attempting to meet quotas.
“There is no quota system,” Revenue Authority Director Peter Shapiro said. “We imagine the motive is that he was trying to pretend that he was working.”
Antoine Budd was indicted Tuesday on 14 criminal counts which prosecutors say stem from his issuance of $2,600 worth of false parking tickets. An official with knowledge of the investigation said Mr. Budd issued the $200-a-piece tickets in order to meet unofficial agency quotas because he believed supervisors were not happy with his job performance.
Mr. Budd was fired in May shortly after an investigation into the issuance of the falsified citations began. He could not be reached for comment at his home Tuesday, and a woman who answered the phone there Wednesday said he was unavailable and hung up.
The investigation of Mr. Budd began after at least 10 people called the Revenue Authority in April and May to complain that they received errant violation notices, prosecutors said. Mr. Budd was the parking officer who issued all the questionable tickets, which indicated motorists had illegally parked in fire lanes. Prosecutors said the license plate numbers on the tickets did not match the make and model of the actual vehicles they were registered to, and Mr. Budd failed to take photos of the vehicles, as is required by parking enforcement protocol.
While stating that the agency does not have a threshold of ticket citations that parking enforcement officers are required to meet, Mr. Shapiro said that based on performance measures, supervisors would notice “large gaps in service” in the case that an officer was not working during a shift.
“We imagine he might be falsifying the citations to fill in gaps,” Mr. Shapiro said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.