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Woman Settles $105,000 Parking Fine From Chicago Airport

Jennifer Fitzgerald amassed the parking fines after her car was abandoned at Chicago's O’Hare International Airport in 2009.


A Chicago woman has settled $105,000 in parking fines after her car was abandoned at the city's O’Hare International Airport.

It is the city's highest parking ticket fine to date.

Jennifer Fitzgerald, a unemployed single mother, had sued the city, claiming her ex-boyfriend registered the purple 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in her name, without her permission.

Fitzgerald ended up settling with the city out of court for $4,500, a relatively small amount of the original bill.

The car, which was left at the airport's employee parking lot, amassed 678 parking tickets over the course of two years before it was finally towed last year.

Fitzgerald argued that she kept receiving the parking tickets even after the state of Illinois revoked the car's license plates.

"They had a little egg on their face with writing so many tickets on one car," her lawyer, Robin Omahana, said. "She's very grateful it's all over."

While the vehicle in the O’Hare lot accrued more than $100,000 in parking tickets, Fitzgerald also had several thousand dollars of parking violations on another vehicle that was in her name, said Roderick Drew, Chicago law department spokesman.

Drew said the city had made efforts to settle the tab before it went to court, for about the same $4,500 amount, but Fitzgerald declined.

“Parties came together and worked out a reasonable resolution to this situation,” Drew said. “By following the terms of the settlement, at the end of this three year period Ms. Fitzgerald will be able to resolve the debts, receive her driver’s license — which she could not have with all of these tickets hanging over her head — and she can move on with her life.”