Tito Jackson is Boston’s Everyman, or at least the Boston motorist’s Everyman.
The Roxbury city councilor running for mayor drives around the city. He can’t find a legal parking space. He parks where he shouldn’t, he gets tickets. He gets lots of tickets, always has.
Tito, embrace it! Welcome to the biggest club in the city.
Getting parking tickets is not a character flaw, it just shows how bad the parking situation is in Boston. Cong. Steve Lynch of South Boston was joking, sort of, about the terrible shortage of parking spaces, at the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast last month.
But I can’t get anyone from Jackson’s campaign to call me back with a comment about all his tickets.
You already knew that Tito has gotten 109 tickets over the last six years. He’s paid all $4320 in fines. He’d better, if he wants to renew his driver’s license, and his registration.
That was one story. There was an earlier one, back in 2015, about how Jackson got 14 tickets broomed at City Hall because he was allegedly on city business, sometimes around Copley Square, near one of his favorite bars.
Now it turns out that he also got tickets during his days as a pharmaceutical drug salesman for Alpharma, which fired him in 2006. Jackson was one of a number of employees who unsuccessfully sued the company for overtime pay. He was questioned under oath in 2009 by a lawyer for Alpharma.
Parking tickets on Jackson’s company car came up early in the deposition.
Alpharma lawyer: “Did you pay parking tickets with your company credit card?
Jackson: “Not that I recall.”
Alpharma: “Did you receive parking tickets with your company car that you did not pay?…”
Jackson: “I received parking tickets that I did pay after the tickets were elevated to the company level.”
Elevated to the company level? What does that mean? That initial exchange between Jackson and the lawyer is on page 16 of the deposition. On page 218 the drug company’s lawyer circled back to the subject, asking Tito about his failure to hand in timely business reports and “also for failing to get your expense records in on time, correct?”
Alpharma: “It was also for failing to pay personal parking violations that you incurred on behalf of the company, correct?”
Jackson: “I’m not sure on the parking.”
Not sure. Hmmm. But then, Tito was also asked if he was “advised” by the company when he was terminated “that there were expenses that you submitted indicating that you had meals with physicians that did not take place.”
To which Jackson replied, “No.” But again, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. So what if Tito fudged his expense account! But the tickets are the bigger angle here.
Now we know why Tito really wants to be mayor. He’s tired of getting all these parking tickets. He wants that police driver that every mayor gets. Mumbles Menino had one for 20 years. He soon forgot what it was like to have to circle the block again and again and again, trying to wedge your clunker into a dicey parking space.
Mumbles began approving condo projects with 150 units and 100 parking spaces. Mumbles convinced himself – granted, only after receiving massive contributions from the developers who wanted to skimp on the parking – that nobody in the city needed a car anymore.
And now Marty Walsh, only three years removed from having to drive around the city, makes the same mistake, sloughing off his constituents’ fondest wish – for MORE PARKING SPACES. Affordable housing isn’t worth much if you don’t have affordable parking.
Tito Jackson, wake up. These tickets can be your ticket to the Parkman House. Some people get parking tickets, some people get police drivers. There are more of us than there are of them.