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Stephen Bearsley owed New Albany, IN $26,000 for 329 unpaid parking tickets

4:09 PM, Aug 31, 2011   |    comments
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Stephen Beardsley

New Albany, IN (WDRB/CNN) - An attorney in New Albany, Indiana scores a win against the city.

He was able to settle a dispute over huge parking fines, saving himself tens of thousands of dollars.

Attorney Stephen Beardsley certainly has changed his tune. Six months ago he owed the city $26,000 for 329 unpaid parking tickets, and vowed never to pay a dime.

City Attorney Shane Gibson promised WDRB News he would find a way to get Beardsley to pay.

[Reporter]: "What do you think if I come back in six months, or a year, do you think it will it be off the books?"

"I'm going do every effort to make sure they're off the books, I can assure you that," said Gibson.

So fast forward six months.

"He made an initial payment early on right after probably you came by and stopped and actually talked to him. We were able to meet and discuss it and finalize everything up this week. He was allowed basically as a policy to buy a retroactive pass to take care of his past ill tickets," said Gibson.

So the total cost to Beardsley, $600. Not bad considering he owed the city $26,000 even though Beardsley still argues about it.

[Reporter]: "You owed the city thousands of dollars."

"No, I never did. You keep saying that," said Beardsley.

[Reporter]: "I know because you did because the city clerk says you owed the city thousands of dollars."

"Now, there's the difference. She said I did but I did not. I mean that's just one person's opinion," said Beardsley.

Gibson says the city is willing to waive penalties for anyone who comes in to pay off their tickets. He says since the original story aired, the city will retool how it handles unpaid tickets, by taking offenders to court.

"So we've set up a system, hopefully, that will not keep things from falling through the cracks and getting too far behind where it becomes unmanageable," said Gibson.

As for Beardsley, it seems Louisville better watch out.

"I get parking tickets in Louisville all the time, got one this morning. $16, not too bad," he said.

Beardsley isn't the worst offender.

Another driver owed the city $32,000, but was able to cut the same deal Beardsley got.


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