The District of Columbia government has openly operates an extortion racket, bilking residents and visitors out of millions of dollars every year through parking tickets. Add the fact that since 1981 the government has known that DPW double-bills and collects on paid and dismissed tickets...
                                     Then keeps the money

                      EXTORTION BY PARKING TICKET    



      Last winter, ITJ steward, Kwasi Seitu took the battle for accountability by the DC government regarding the continuing problem of residents essentially being extorted by DPW and DMV, to the next level with a lawsuit in federal court. It was necessary to file suit in the federal district court as a result of the refusal of the DC judiciary to allow the suit to proceed in the manner prescribed by law. When the suit was initially filed in DC "Superior" court in 1997 (Seitu v. DC and AllState Ins.), the city defaulted, however, the judges of the court refused to act on the default, derailing the matter. This led to efforts to seek redress in the DC Appeals court in  the form of orders mandating the performance of due ministerial duties, since the entry of default is not discretionary. However, the DC Appeals court proved to be, and has proven to be in this and other matters, as corrupt and unworkable as the "Superior" court. The judges of the "Superior" court were insisting through constant malfeasance that Seitu accept being subjected to a separate and entirely capricious treatment, whereby the city would not be held to the rule of law or the court. Quite naturally, this proposition was rejected by Seitu, so there the matter was held in limbo for years with Seitu making complaint to the Appeals court and the Commission on Judicial Disability and Tenure.

     Eventually, in order to dispose of Seitu and the matter, the DC Attorney General and judge Stephanie Duncan-Peters decided to force Seitu into a mock jury trial, a "mock" trial since the District was still in default. Evidently, the belief was that Seitu would lose before a jury since he was proceeding "pro se" and would be matched up against lawyers for the city and AllState.  This is not what happened though, in spite of the deck being stacked against him, Seitu used the trial to pull out as much evidence of the criminal scheme being operated and maintained through the departments of Public Works and Motor Vehicles as possible, including introducing audit results from the DC Auditor verifying the existence of the scheme. Seitu won the mock trial, but the city thereafter not only did not comply in any way with the judgment, but then took retaliatory action against Seitu and maintains it to this day. And because it is irrefutable that the judges of the DC courts engaged in gross misconduct, the DC judiciary exposed that it operates in such a manner, based on considerations of race and class, as to render the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth amendments inaccessible.  This then was part of the basis of filing suit in the federal court (Seitu v. Baber, et al.).

     The matter was first assigned to federal judge John Bates, however, due to Bates' having   obstructed a petition for habeas corpus by Seitu in 2010, Bates had no legal basis not to have recused himself. Instead, Bates promptly denied the request in the suit for a preliminary injunction which sought to simply require the D.C.  government to comply with its own laws and regulations. Bates did not find that the DC government was complying with its own laws and regulations, but rather stated that "no harm" was shown by the fact that it was not. Eventually, Bates was forced off of the matter, only to be replaced by Rudolph Contreras, who made it clear that he was there only to finish blocking the suit. In November, Contreras's very first in the case was to enter an order summarily denying it, claiming that he could apply a statute of limitations to an "continuing criminal conspiracy." The suit relates facts that, if "taken as true" as the federal courts are required to do, reflects that the DC government is operating and maintains a "criminal enterprise," or a broad "continuing criminal conspiracy."

      The problems encountered in the courts has given rise to the ITJ program called "Skunks on the Bench," which focuses efforts at the DC judiciary and the federal judiciary. Due to the experience in the courts as related above, resort to the courts is unavailable absent an effective campaign to confront racism and lawlessness within the judiciary. In the meantime, it is critical that the public understand the issue as it relates to the DC government. The DC City Council has to held accountable for failing to address the fact that residents and visitors have been, and continue to be, bilked out of hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of the three-decade long "problem of information mismanagement" on the disposition and processing of parking and traffic tickets. As a result of this "problem," residents and visitors are:
  • subjected to the issuance of tickets based on a quota system, and not necessarily based on any actual parking or traffic violation;
  • subjected to billing on paid and dismissed tickets;
  • DPW and DMV are collecting fees on paid and dismissed tickets;
  • DPW engages in the wrongful booting and towing of vehicles as a result of the "problem," from which it further collects fees to which it is not legally entitled;
  • DPW and DMV then denies residents and visitors of their right to redress by unlawfully shifting the "burden of proof" to prove that there is a "problem," or by simply denying hearings on the basis that the claim is "too old" to challenge, but not to pay;
  • DPW and DMV then engage in coercive actions to collect such as refusing the re-issuance of drivers' licences, vehicle registrations, or the denial of tag renewals.  
       City officials such as council members Jim Graham and Marry Chei have made public claims that that over $300-million is owed in "unpaid parking and traffic tickets," a claim that they know lacks credibility. Residents are sent notices that they owe on an unpaid ticket, many of the tickets date back to the 1990s, some are for relatively small amounts and many are for larger amounts reaching into thousands of dollars. The people are told that they cannot contest the tickets because they are too old, if the person believes that they paid the tickets or the tickets were dismissed, then the DMV is requiring that they prove it. Under the law, it is DPW and DMV that carries the burden of proving their claim, but cannot since their claim is based on records that have been found notoriously unreliable by the city auditor.    


     Every dime collected as a result of this "problem" is supposed to be returned to the people from whom it was extorted, but not one dime has ever been returned. At the same time, because that money is considered ill-gotten or wrongfully obtained, it cannot be counted as "revenue. " So, what has happened, and is happening, to all of this money? 

     People who believe that they are being or have been "Gangsta taxed" are encouraged to join our effort to bring an end to this criminal enterprise. If you have been presented with a claim of "unpaid" tickets by the city, you are not required to prove that you paid them or that they were dismissed, by law the burden is on the government to prove that the tickets are unpaid or have not been dismissed (Rule 3012.1 of Chapter 30 of the DC Municipal Regulations). 

Click on the Adobe icons below to read the DC Auditor's 1998 report, and the 2012 audit report from the DC Inspector General for yourself, which can and must be used to our benefit...

DCA898 Districts Department of Public Works.pdf DCA898 Districts Department of Public Works.pdf
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11 Shut 'Em Down.mp3

Join the Gangsta' Tax Buster's Suit

(Please List Your Tickets: Infraction, Date, Paid or Not, or Dismissed)

     The following article is a reprint from the Washington Afro regarding the fact that the city government in particular, and the government in generals, openly operates as a criminal enterprise extorting millions of dollars each year, for over thirty-years, from residents and visitors under the guise of parking and traffic enforcement.  Sadly, the article itself did not generate any tangible response, perhaps because the Afro publishes once a week and only printed that one article, the Washington Post and other papers have failed and refuse to report on the matter in a manner that serves the interest of the public. The local media in general, including radio and television, have all failed to follow this story. However, even sadder than that is the fact that the impacted public, and especially black residents of the city, care enough to complain, but not take any action and support action to address it. 

Washington D.C. News

Originally published October 05, 2011

Activist Charges DC Government Profits from Fraud

by Valencia Mohammed

Special to the AFRO

      Some people are worried about being billed again, despite taking advantage of the recent launch of the DMV Ticket Amnesty Program in which District government collected almost $1 million in revenue after just one month. The program collects photo-enforced, moving violation and parking tickets in the District issued before Jan. 1, 2000. Under the amnesty, penalties are waived and only the original fees is due. But everyone isn't buying it.

     A lawsuit was filed Aug. 29 against the District government for its failure to stop multiple billing on paid and dismissed parking tickets. The lawsuit alleges the District government knowingly allowed agencies to maintain a “pattern of massive fraud and mismanagement” that has cost Washington drivers millions of dollars. The plaintiff, Kwasi Seitu, accused Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) and every District mayor since 1981, with the exception of incumbent Vincent Gray, of engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the public through the auto ticketing and fine collection system as it has evolved over the years.

“   The attitude of D.C. officials towards the matter is reflected in the fact that they have not only never taken any action to correct the problem, but in fact have committed various acts to perpetuate and profit from it,” Seitu said. On the morning of Jan. 30, 1997, Seitu, a community activist, ventured outside his northwest home to find his car missing. Soon he found it hadn’t been stolen, but rather impounded as a result of overdue parking tickets that he had, in fact, paid. Getting the issue resolved, however, led Seitu to undertake a case involving not only him, but thousands of victims of alleged traffic fine fraud over at least three decades. Seitu not only discovered he was being held responsible for tickets he paid, but that fictitious tickets based on those were also on file against him. The key revelation in the lawsuit is that a “quota system,” which had distorted ticket billing in Washington for many years, led to such dysfunction, as revealed in every Department of Public Works (DPW) and Department of Motor Vehicle audit since 1981, that in 1999 the D.C. City Council simply gave up requiring the audits.

    Since 1981, in report after report to the DC City Council and the Attorney General, the DC Auditor cited the problem and the fact that DPW and officials appeared to make no effort to address, correct, and cease the practice,” the lawsuit alleged. Ariel Levinson-Williams, attorney for DPW and Sylvia Ballinger, public information officer for DMV declined to comment. However, Yolandra Branche, acting District of Columbia auditor, offered without comment a history of reports tracking the issues involved, starting with a 1982 report by then-auditor Otis H. Troupe. Troupe focused on booting, noting a pattern of one “unwritten policy” after another, each evolving out of a bad decision “eliciting other bad decisions in support of itself.” Another report, this time from 1983, singled out poor record-keeping and inadequately designed procedures. In 1995, the biggest problem cited by the auditor in another report was the city’s disastrously mismanaged outsourcing of parking enforcement to Lockheed Martin IMS Corp. and its subcontractors.

     By 1998, Interim D.C. Auditor Deborah K. Nichols issued a scathing report titled "District’s Department of Public Works Improperly Collected and Retained Millions in Parking Ticket Overpayments," which showed DPW improperly accumulated $17.8 million in overpayments between 1981 and 1997. A year later, the auditor offered yet another detailed report critical of the city’s relationship with Lockheed, but that’s where the trail ended. Seitu persisted in exposing the process and demanding accountability. “Keep everything public,” he insisted. “The public needs to be made aware of the situation, not pay any tickets and join my lawsuit.” 

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