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Upper Darby Township Council approves parking department audit

Upper Darby Township Council approves audit of parking department
Upper Darby Township Council approves audit of parking department 02:23

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) -- Upper Darby Township Council on Wednesday night ordered an audit of the Parking Enforcement department less than 24 hours after a CBS3 Investigation revealed 18,000 violations over two years were not sent to local district courts for processing, triggering numerous due process concerns.

The council held a meeting Wednesday, where residents blasted the township over the alleged mishandling of parking violations.

In the meeting, the township council authorized a seven-year audit of the parking department. It passed by a vote of 8-1.

A two-month-long CBS3 Investigation found a total of 18,000 tickets over two years were not sent to local courts for processing, which township council members say is a violation of a longstanding ordinance.

Council members questioned the township administration's timing of sending a backlog of 18,000 tickets to state court offices after CBS News Philadelphia began pressing township leaders for more information three weeks ago.

"I find it very interesting the tickets were sent to Harrisburg and with the timing of Mr. Holden's report," Councilmember Meaghan Wagner said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Barbarann Keffer, who was charged with a DUI on Thursday, was not present and her chief administrative officer abruptly resigned last Wednesday.

Keffer last month explained the ticket controversy happened as the result of technology issues.

Council members Wednesday rejected that.

Parking controversy brewing in Upper Darby 07:28

Our report included confirmation from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, law enforcement, judicial records and other sources showing the township sent those 18,000 tickets to court administration in Harrisburg after we pressed early last month for an explanation on why tickets had stopped going to the courts.

We spoke with two council members before the meeting about our findings.

"We didn't know until last night that it was 18,000 tickets," Council President Brian Burke said. "We were hearing 10,000, 11,000. Last night, 18,000, that's absolutely crazy. We heard around 11, we were trying to do math. 18,000, that's disturbing."

Township council members are calculating that the alleged mistake had cost the township between $500,000 and $1 million in ticket revenue and related court fees.

They want an audit in the meantime to track where whatever revenue collected over the last two years actually went.  

Council is expecting a preliminary report in 30 days.

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