Man valets car in OTR, gets $300 parking ticket

Claims valet driver parked in front of hydrant

Remember the rogue valet driver from the 1980's Matthew Broderick movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, who raced off in a million dollar Ferrari?

Karl Jackson of Fairfield, Ohio, thinks a rogue valet driver got him two parking tickets last week, while he attended a symphony performance in Over-the-Rhine and used a valet for a nearby business. The total fine he faces? $300.

"It was $50 for parking in a no parking zone and $250 for parking in front of a fire hydrant," Jackson said.

Claims valet parked in front of hydrant

Jackson is furious not because he got a ticket, but because he claims it was the valet driver who got the tickets.

Jackson claims the valet found a wide open spot with just one tiny problem: a funny looking yellow thing on the sidewalk. Apparently, Jackson says, the valet did not know it was a fire hydrant.

"When we came back," Jackson said, "He says, 'It's parked over there,' so we walked over and got in the car and drove off."

According to the citation, the car was had been sitting in front of the 14th Street hydrant when a Cincinnati Parking Enforcement office came by at 8:30 pm.

Jackson says he didn't realize at first that the paper under his wiper wasn't a junk flier. So he was long gone from OTR when he discovered he had been ticketed, and it was too late to argue with anyone.

"We pulled off, got out and saw it was two tickets." 

So we called the Covington-based valet service. A manager there told us his service uses lots and insisted his valets "do not park in front of hydrants."

We then called both Cincinnati Parking Enforcement and 3CDC, which oversees OTR parking.  Both agencies said they have no other complaints about this valet service, which is fully licensed by the city, and had to prove when it applied for its license that it had lots for customer cars.

Jackson is furious, and says his next stop may be Municipal Court. Could he have possibly parked in front of a hydrant? "Of course not," he said.

What can you do?

We asked Cincinnati Parking Enforcement if the ticket could be reduced, but tells me they cannot rip up ticket.

The only way to get one dropped is to go to court.

This is a reminder to always walk around your car and check it for dings, dents, and tickets when a valet brings it back to you. If you find anything, take pictures and go to the valet stand immediately, so you don't waste your money.

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