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Fort Worth Contemplates Citation Backlog

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The City of Fort Worth is trying to figure out what to do with 670,000 old citations. Some are nearly two decades old. The citations are for traffic tickets or code compliance violations.

"We are spending a lot of money on trying to deal with those cases," explains Fort Worth City Councilman Frank Moss.

Moss says this doesn't mean the citations are dismissed or erased, but what it does mean is that the city is no longer going to be actively pursuing those cases.

Parking Ticket
(Photo credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

The city has, at this point, exhausted all options to collect the fines, even turning to a collection agency.

Councilmember Moss says the ticket or citation will remain on the offender's record until it's taken care of and - in some cases - over the years, warrants have also been issued.

The city is now looking at possibly upgrading the computer system to help with the clogging of records and staff.

Friday morning, some people showing up to pay their fines couldn't understand why so many haven't paid up.

"I wasn't working at the time so I couldn't pay them," explains Clifton White who is working on paying several of his traffic tickets dating back to 2009.

"Of course there are people who can't afford to pay them," says White, "We are all struggling."

The city is out millions of dollars, but councilmember Moss says, "It's going to cost us more to try to collect on those cases."

The money for the citations would go into a general fun which would pay for road repairs, parks and other city services.

City council is expected to get a briefing on how to handle the outstanding citations in the next few months.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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