Neighbors ticketed after street sweeping sign mix-up

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) Neighbors are frustrated they have to take time out of their schedules to make appearances in court over a simple mistake by someone doing work for the city.

"I struggle to put into words how frustrating it is," Anthony Simental said.

People who live along the 500 block of 4th Street in Huntington were confused when they saw tickets had been placed on their cars Monday.

A sign placed along the street had warned them not to park there Tuesday because of street sweeping, but Simental says the street sweeping was done Monday, and $25 fines were placed along his and several neighbors' cars.

Monday afternoon a worker apologized to Simental and said he'd made a mistake and set up the wrong sign, and he'd meant to put up a sign that said parking was prohibited Monday instead of Tuesday.

"It was my fault," the worker said.

The inspector with the Huntington Sanitary Board tells WSAZ he'll be reaching out to the Huntington Municipal Court so they'll be aware those tickets won't have to be paid.

The inspector says the people who got tickets will still have to make an appearance at Municipal Court. He says after a ticket is officially issued, it has to be dealt with the legal and proper way. He says those affected by the error won't have to pay any court costs.

Simental says what's frustrating is he'll still have to take time to go to court to deal with someone else's mistake.

"It's something I shouldn't have to deal with," Simental said. "Somebody made a mistake, it should be a simple phone call saying, 'Hey, you issued me a ticket on accident, can you fix it?' But instead I have to take multiple hours off of work to go down there, waste a vacation day, deal with a judge and explain with evidence and statements and stuff that they issued a ticket in error."

The Sanitary Board inspector says they've begun cracking down on people who ignore those "no parking" warnings and issuing more tickets because they're making an effort to keep debris from getting into storm drains and the sanitary system, which leads to costly repairs.