This document includes my opinions.

Another SNAFU for Seattle's Parking Enforcement Officers (surprise)

Seattle's newest and bizarr-est PEO scandal appears in the Seattle Times today: John Seth cited for "parking with his lights on" (and subsequent smart-ass remark by the PEO in question). We'll post the link as follows, with the understanding that the Seattle Times likes to move their articles around from time to time, thereby rendering many links useless:

We had to laugh at Lt. Steven Paulsen's comments to the press in which he attempts to make his department seem as though it actually has compassion for all the drivers erroneously cited over the years by stupid, mean-spirited PEOs. It's as if he (Paulsen) is saying, "Hey, we had NO IDEA these little shits (PEOs) were doing things like this! It'll never happen again! Trust us!"

Paulsen's actual statement to the press was that as soon as he learned of the ticket, his decision was, "Hey, it's a bad ticket, let's get rid of it." We laughed because we know that Paulsen did absolutely nothing to right the ludicrous citation I received (which is the focus of this site). In fact, Paulsen's department is now in violation of the law regarding my repeated public disclosure demands re that case (if his department thought my citation was legitimate, why would it go so far as to break the law to keep details of it secret?). We submit that Paulsen does "the right thing" only when caught in the headlights. Pardon the pun. Or not.

This latest citation against Seth was dismissed, but only due to media attention. Had the media not spotlighted the case, John Seth would have been required to go to court to have it dismissed, as I did, because, according to involved parties, Seattle PE blatantly refused to correct the matter for Seth until the embarrassment level crossed a certain threshold.

The fact that Seattle PE would employ even one human being so incomprehensibly stupid as to believe, even for one nanosecond, that parking with your headlights on could be an actionable offense, should scare the living daylights out of every single Seattle resident.  And if you ain't scared, you're brain-dead.


Paulsen says the whole silly thing was "just a misunderstanding" that goes something like this:

The PEO in question (whose name and badge number are conspicuously missing from any accounts we can find) looked at his little handheld computer and saw the phrase: "Lights, parked vehicle." And because of that one character string, he wrote the cite and defended the decision. The string actually means that all vehicles, even if parked, need to have working lights as required by law. The problem is that while the PEO might only be labeled stupid for misunderstanding the phrase, he/she apparently (1) did nothing to clarify the meaning before writing the ticket, and (2) defended the decision [to cite] to an outraged driver, and that makes the person, by just about any definition, a danger to folks. Paulsen claims that the PEO later "had a funny feeling" about having written the ticket. Gee.

Lt. Paulsen claims that his department doesn't blatantly "tell" its PEOs to write "these kinds of tickets". We're sure that's the case. We're also sure that there's considerable "invisible incentive" for PEOs to write exactly those kinds of tickets. After all, the city probably reasons, the majority of them will get paid, and that just fattens the cow. And what Paulsen doesn't mention is that the very nature of the job can and often does attract people who want to write "those kinds of tickets" whether they're told to or not.. How many reasonable, emotionally stable human beings do you know who actively seek out the position of meter-maid? Or dog catcher. Or hall monitor.

The really scary concern is this: If this PEO's little handheld computer someday gets bombed by, say, a gooey hunk of seagull dung, which scrambles its little heathen processor/brain, and it begins spitting forth random displays of text, one combination of which just happens to read, "kil %- all brwn pooodles ^&^ kats"......will Seattle see some real carnage in its streets? Or will Seattle's Parking Enforcement authorities have by then figured out that they must hire folks who are SMARTER THAN A RUSTY FREAKING CROWBAR----something they've been conspicuously unable to do to date.

Copyright (c) 2003 All Rights Reserved