Oops! Paperwork snafu invalidates $10 million worth of parking tickets

Jun 15, 2022
Written by WR Communications

(Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)


The City of Seattle must refund or invalidate 200,000 parking tickets after the City failed to transfer the authority to issue those tickets from the Seattle Police Department (“SPD”) to the Seattle Department of Transportation (“SDOT”).

In September of 2021, the Seattle City Council took several actions to reduce the SPD budget, including moving the parking enforcement unit from SPD to SDOT. The only problem is that SPD never transferred that authority, a mistake not detected until April 2022. As a result, the city must refund $5 million worth of parking tickets paid and invalidate another $5 million in unpaid tickets.

Times columnist Danny Westneat wrote that this is part of the range of problems created by the City Council’s efforts to reduce the SPD budget following the murder of George Floyd.

“More than 400 officers have left while crime has soared. This past week The Seattle Times and KUOW reported new sex assault cases aren’t being investigated because of understaffing. Meanwhile, the softer approaches envisioned for community safety still are in the pilot stages.”