Parking Tickets Confusion
That's what happened to Joseph Morgan.
The whole situation revolves around a hyphen, and several Alachua County employees who seem to have a bad habit of illegally parking a government owned vehicle.
Morgan tries to keep his 1972 Dodge Charger as genuine as possible right down to the Nixon and Agnew bumper sticker from the 1972 presidential campaign.
"My dad bought this car brand new in 1972," said Morgan. "I got it from him in 1980 when I was in high school."
But since March, Morgan has received seven parking tickets for illegally parking his vehicle on Southeast 2nd Avenue in Gainesville.
So, why doesn't Morgan just pay the tickets? Well, because he says it's not him who is illegally parking. You see, he lives in Titusville, over 150 miles away from Gainesville. In fact, he says he's only been to Gainesville once in his entire life, and that was back in 2006.
So how did the mix-up happen? well, Morgan's Charger has the antique 1972 license plate 19-8417.
But if you take away the hyphen, Morgan's tag is identical to an Alachua County Facilities Management vehicle. City of Gainesville administrators say that's what caused the ticket confusion.
"The city's parking citation system doesn't have that designation within it, so when the parking citation staff would go out and write the ticket, there was no place for them to mark that it was a government tag," said Gainesville Administrative Services Director Becky Rountree.
So now the only question left to answer is, why are they illegally parking in the first place?
"We download stuff," said Alachua County Facilities Manager Charlie Jackson. "We come from company job sites with a lot of bulky materials. Prints, drawings, boxes, and a lot of stuff. Just like other people have gotten tickets by going in and dropping stuff off."
Either way, Morgan is just glad his name and driving record have been cleared.
"It's more of a joke between my wife and kids and I," said Morgan.
The county employees responsible for the tickets have since paid the fines. City officials say they have posted a sign in the parking citations office alerting staff members of this situation so that Morgan won't accidentally get ticketed again.
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