Planet Princeton

Second Princeton Parking Enforcement Attendant Moved to New Job After Meter-Gate Scandal

IMG_3409The second Princeton parking meter enforcement officer who was suspended without pay for four weeks has been reassigned to the municipal parking garage, town officials said today.

Enforcement officer Jon Hughes met with Administrator Robert Bruschi and Princeton Police Capt. Nick Sutter on Wednesday to discuss his employment with the town, and has been warned that his demotion is a “last chance provision.”  Any future disciplinary action will result in termination.

In an email, Bruschi said the disciplinary action for Hughes was different from the action taken against enforcement officer Chris Boutote, who was suspended without pay after Planet Princeton broke the story about the parking abuses and was terminated this week. Bruschi said Hughes was disciplined for another issue unrelated to the parking meter scandal that some residents have dubbed “play to park” and others have referred to as meter-gate.

Hughes, who earns $44,000 per year, was moved to the parking garage because he allegedly didn’t follow proper internal procedures when it came to processing a single ticket that was going through the court system.

“It was a single incident but we felt that a very strong message had to be sent that our procedures need to be followed by the letter of the law,” Bruschi said in an email. “The ticket was one of the items that helped us gain further information as to what was taking place with parking enforcement officer Boutote in one of the downtown establishments. Jon was cooperative with the investigation and nothing in the investigation led to any similar conduct by Jon.”

Town officials are looking at administrative changes they say will lead to a better system when it comes to parking meter enforcement personnel, such as rotating routes. Employees and some owners of several downtown businesses were allowed to park their vehicles at expired meters all day and in two-hour parking zones for eight to 10 hours or more without getting ticketed, in exchange for food and other goods. Employees placed items on their car dashboards such as menus, business cards, stickers, coasters and shopping bags to signify which business they worked for so that enforcement personnel would not give them tickets.

Many days there were more than 16 vehicles parked along streets like Humbert Street and Greenview Avenue. Residents on those streets said their visitors who parked in the few remaining spots were aggressively ticketed.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • krystalknapp

    We will delete comments that are not in line with our comment policy and we will delete comments by one user posing as many users.

  • Princetongirl

    Ok “Rule Follower” Faagstrum! Get out and “Patrol” the streets as its still happening to this very day and always will!

  • Coco K

    It happens ALL the time all over this country wake up!

  • Faagstrum

    Officers can take coffee and donuts if they are also offered to other people. The 7 11 person and customers want late nite visits to prevent crime. But if the coffee and donuts stop, and the cops dissapear that become unethical. Coffee and donuts is a small price, however, we goverment employees are suposed to be above the ‘appearance of improperity’ as as such not come NEAR the gray areas. We are suposted to be beyond reproach. To get a parking meter bag you got to pay $20.00 (for all day parking) and you can not have one everyday, and you have to have a reasonable need. When the person parkes overtime the town also losses the fine ($40.00) and the parking garage (designated all day parking) is not being used. Also taking Payola is strickly forbidden be it cash or payment of good/sevices in lieu of cash.

  • Faagstrum

    You are right taking coffee for an exchange is a ‘shake down’, and is equal to taking money to forgive a ‘mover’. Not giving a ticket to someone becuase they are related to the officer is unethical and a conflict of intrest, if it can be proven, it can be a feloney.

  • Faagstrum

    SFB is intresting, they, he, she, made some assertation that I was someone else (using an AKA). You know if two people make two account on the same computer wouldn;t they have the same IP address. So if someone wanted to be really obnioxus they could open an acccount at the Public Library, be harmful, and have the whole library shut out, or at least one computer. It is odd that SFB has IP information and is also being irresponciable with by making conclusions and accuations that are questionable (in that they can not be proven definativly)

  • ResidentTiger

    Are you making an accusation about the police and Dunkin Donuts? If so, please call the Borough with your info.

    I’m surprised there are people here who have a problem with people behaving ethically and following the rules.

  • Mustang

    Youre point is? You’ve contributed what? Im only MUSTANG sorry about the others! Old news! Time to “move on”~~and what are you doing for this new “Princeton”? Ive contrubuted for over 25 years! You? “SFB”?

  • Coco K

    Dunkin Donuts ring a bell~~Rule follower?

  • SFB

    Mustang/Tigercat/Mojo – or whatever you are calling yourself today- you might think it’s funny to sign in under different names and make unfunny comments mis-spelling the editor’s name and accusing her of this, that and the other. But as you’re not really contributing anything to the discussion, I don’t see why you’re so shocked that some of the comments you posted under multiple aliases got deleted. If you were doing this on plenty of other blogs, your IP address would have been blocked from making further comments by now.

  • According to our records, you are using several handles or names,trying to make it appear as if there are many commenters but they are all coming from the same IP address and email. Please use one handle. We take down inappropriate comments Please see our comment policy. http://princeplanet.wpengine.com/planet-princeton-comment-policy/

  • Mustang

    Interesting how there were multiple comments on here yesterday! and poof~~theyre all gone!!! One must wonder!

  • ResidentTiger

    They did defraud the government. It’s also illegal to give the Cop a cup of coffee if in exchange, the policeman lets you commit a crime.

  • jvilla107

    So while i receive a t $40.00 fine for an overtime meter. (rightfully deserved).
    The guys who are defrauding the government of tens of thousands of dollars in revenue get terminated & reassigned. What would happen if you or i defrauded the government? Why do we continue to allow our elected officials to allow one standard for the people and a different one for the themselves and their court?

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