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Thread: Disabled placard abusers targeted

  1. #1

    Disabled placard abusers targeted
    The Boston Globe
    Disabled placard abusers targeted
    Police investigation turns up hundreds of violators

    By Andrea Estes, Globe Staff | June 9, 2008

    He lives in one of Wellesley's most exclusive neighborhoods, owns a $1.8 million Nantucket vacation home, and has a small fleet of luxury cars at his disposal. But when Gerald Hamelburg drives downtown, he doesn't like to pay his way, according to investigators with the state inspector general's office.

    The Boston lawyer, they say, uses his deceased mother's handicapped placard to park his Mercedes convertible, free of charge, at meters near the High Street firm that bears his name.

    "It's a particularly obnoxious example of abuse. You use a fake placard to park in any space you want anytime you want to? It's absurd. It's horrible," said Inspector General Gregory Sullivan, whose office pursued Hamelburg for nearly two years as part of an investigation into the misuse of the placards.

    The investigation, which also involved the Registry of Motor Vehicles and State Police, turned up hundreds of placards that were being used by people who were not disabled and that had been originally issued to someone else.

    Hamelburg, who has two Mercedes vehicles, a Lexus, a BMW, and a Jeep registered at his address, was a target of the original probe, but kept eluding investigators, the inspector general's office said. Investigators observed him illegally using the placard about six times, but he was able to move the car before State Police arrived to ticket him, the office said.
    4/6/97, car accident, C5.

  2. #2
    Bravo to the Boston officials for going after this guy!
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

  3. #3
    Unfortunately, this occurs all over the country, I'm glad to see one city is taking action on it.
    C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    So. California
    I'm a firm believer in "what goes around, comes around". People who abuse the placards better watch their backs (and necks)!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I don't get it. Why did it take two years to bust the jerk???

  6. #6
    Senior Member WheelieMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Southern Indiana

    I need them here in Indiana...

    I just saw a vehicle parked in a hc spot that I would check into. It was an F550 log truck. It had a placard hanging in the window, but the two just looked odd.
    Stupidity ain't illegal, but it sure is inconvenient.

    Help me support the 2010 Bike MS.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Placerville, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by SoFla
    I don't get it. Why did it take two years to bust the jerk???
    He's loaded. The investigators need a lot of time for lunches and trips to the bank.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Imight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    I dont even own a placard. I see people jumping out of their mercedes in handicapped spots all non chalant, im over here wheeling thru the parking lot or limp walking across the black hot pavement.

    I seriously have to get a placard. today was just too much.

  9. #9
    I'm so happy to see Boston has done this. IMO every city should conduct such investigations from time to time. Some of them may already do them but perhaps they aren't publicized, or brought to our attention in any way.

    The cost of these investigations must be pretty steep, and it wouldn't surprise me if that alone keeps more cities from conducting them.

    "When it comes to a choice between two evils, I will always choose the one I haven't tried before." - Mae West

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    I chuckled when I read thread one of the towns that has stepped up their ticketing is my hometown!

    The article ended with an interesting point:


    Cities and towns are allowed to keep all parking fines and half of any revenue from citations.

    In Waltham, the city took in fines that far exceeded the cost of the details. Since last summer, the city has collected $124,000 in parking tickets and $77,000 in citations. The city's handicapped commission gave $50,000 of the revenue to a local school for a playground, according to Jerry Leblanc, access analyst for the city's Handicapped Services Commission.
    "We're netting $2,500 or $3,000 a week," he said. "I keep asking myself why other cities and towns aren't doing the same thing. ......................
    You would think it is a no brainer here! Maybe once the municipalities realize that ticketing culprits is more money in their pocket, they will be faster to crack down on this.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

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