The Chicago woman who the city says owes $100,000 for parking tickets on an abandoned car at O'Hare is speaking publicly about the case for the first time.
As FOX 32 News first reported in November, this all began after the vacant car was found in a United Airlines employee lot at O'Hare. Police issued ticket after ticket, piling up over three years and totaling over $100,000. Now the question is, whose car is it?
Jennifer Fitzgerald went to court Wednesday, hoping to prove that the 1998 Monte Carlo wasn't really hers. Her attorneys admitted the title was in her name, but told Judge Tom Allen that her former boyfriend, Brandon Preveau, was the real owner. She says he's the one who left it at O'Hare when they broke up.
"It's not all my fault. He's knows that that's his car. He knows I couldn't get into that lot," Fitzgerald says. "I think it's just a big misunderstanding. I could not get in that lot to move that car. He had the car keys, he had everything."
"Most importantly, Brandon had sole and exclusive use and control over this car, and he left it there in the airport parking lot for three years," Fitzgerald's attorney argues.
Preveau's attorney says the title was in Fitzgerald's name and the city argued she should have challenged her tickets long ago at an administrative hearing. The judge seemed to agree, throwing out her lawsuit, but encouraging her to either file another one under a different theory--or try settle with the city. In the meantime, the city says she still owes over $100,000 for those tickets.
"I am still at the top [of the scofflaw list]. It's a great list, love it," Fitzgerald jokes.
Fitzgerald's attorney says the city did offer to settle for about $5,000, admitting that the car should have been towed before it got all those tickets. But her ex refused to pay part of the settlement, so she rejected the offer.