Parking ticket hearing examiner suspended following Carl Monday investigation
DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The man in charge of reviewing all parking ticket disputes in the city of Cleveland has been suspended without pay following a Carl Monday investigation into a ticket snafu on Prospect Avenue.
Monday found dozens of motorists were wrongly ticketed after the city posted a "No Parking Anytime" sign in front of a row of working parking meters.
But it wasn't Brian Mahon's review of those tickets that has him in trouble today. It was a question Carl Monday asked Mahon regarding a personal driving matter that has the Chief Parking Enforcement Hearing Examiner in trouble with his bosses, and potentially the law.
In researching the parking ticket story, Monday and his team discovered Mahon was issued a capias, or arrest warrant, after he failed to appear in court on a 2014 traffic ticket for running a stop sign. Records show he owed $251 in fines in court costs. Months later, the city issued an alert for non-payment of fines. But mysteriously, nine days later, the amount was reduced to zero and the fines and court costs disappeared.
During his meeting with Mahon, Monday asked about that ticket. Mahon said he didn't remember getting the ticket, not showing up in court or receiving an arrest warrant. A few days later, on Sept. 12, records show someone paid $176 on the ticket.
Clerk of Courts Spokesman Obie Shelton says it was Monday's question that lead to their investigation of Mahon.
"It raised questions. Lead to an investigation," said Shelton.
Mahon, who doubles as the Clerk's Office Collection Administrator for all fines, has access to court records. He was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 12, the day Monday's story first appear on Cleveland 19's web page. For now at least, the Clerk's Office investigation is being handled internally. They are looking into whether Mahon violated any laws.
"Being suspended after being a really top notch employee for over 30 years. There has to be some serious questions being raised," said Shelton.
Two days ago, Mahon was sent a letter telling him he was officially suspended effective Friday, pending the outcome of the investigation. Mahon, who is also a licensed attorney, was not at work Friday and couldn't be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, there's resolution to the ticket dispute that started all of this. The city of Cleveland has overturned all 39 tickets issued at the Prospect Avenue site, including one given to Don Simpson, who was featured in Monday's original story. Refunds totaling $600 have been sent to motorists who already paid their tickets. Parking tickets for 18 others who didn't pay their fines have been overturned.
Mahon has worked for the Clerk of Courts for over 30 years. He was currently making about $51,000 a year. He got mostly good reviews, although he was told to do more investigating before making decisions.
Now, a bad decision may have been Mahon's "ticket to trouble."
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