CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The man charged with operating an illegal parking lot in downtown Cleveland was in court Thursday, and apparently, he wasn't very happy to see Cleveland 19.
In fact, Damon Frangos tried to get Car Monday kicked out.
Frangos was arraigned in Cleveland Municipal Court on one count of operating a parking lot without a license, a minor misdemeanor.
He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court Nov. 1.
Prior to the hearing, Frangos' attorney, Nathalie Dibo, asked court officials to ban Monday and his cameras from the courtroom. Her request was denied.
Damon Frangos in court with his attorney, Nathalie Dibo (Source: WOIO)
Last week, Cleveland 19 aired an investigative report featuring undercover video of Frangos and other USA Parking employees charging customers $40 per vehicle to park in the illegal lot near Progressive Field during the Indians playoff run.
In addition to not having a license to operate or proper signage as required by law, the parking lot on Sumner Avenue does not have the fencing, landscaping, paving and striping, as required by the city of Cleveland.
We've been told USA Parking Systems has been using the vacant property as an overflow lot during Indians game since last year, but apparently no one at City Hall noticed until September.
USA Parking's illegal lot on Sumner Ave. (Source: WOIO)
On Sept.14, USA Parking Systems was cited by the department of Building & Housing for using the vacant lot for public parking without a license. When the company failed to comply with the city's citation by the ordered date of Sept. 21, they were served with a cease and desist notice.
The company is appealing the city's order.
Despite receiving the cease and desist notice, USA Parking Systems continued to illegally park cars in the unpaved Sumner Avenue Lot.
On Oct. 6, Frangos and USA Parking were issued another citation for operating an illegal lot, this time by the Department of Finance.
If convicted of the misdemeanor, Frangos will pay no more $150 dollar fine.