Providence investigating ‘behavior’ of parking enforcement officer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The city has launched an investigation into “the behavior of a parking enforcement officer,” Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré confirmed Friday.

Paré said the employee has been suspended, but declined to say what prompted the probe. He declined to name the worker.

Parking enforcement officers are members of Local 1033 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. Ron Coia, the union’s business manager, did not respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.

Providence currently employs 26 parking enforcement officers, according to an Eyewitness News review of city payroll records. They are paid between $33,171 and $39,030 a year. One senior parking enforcement officer earns $45,021.

The investigation marks the second time city parking enforcement officers have come under fire in the last 14 months.

In December 2015, two parking officers were terminated after facing allegations that they allowed employees at a downtown coffee shop to park their cars without feeding parking meters.

At the time, Paré said the officers were placing orange parking ticket envelopes on the coffee shop employees’ cars, but not actually assigning parking tickets to the vehicles over a period of several months.

The average parking ticket for failing to pay a meter is $25. The fine doubles after 14 days and triples after 28 days. Once a ticket hasn’t been paid for 30 days, the recipient is summoned to municipal court.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan