Parking Official Gives Himself a Ticket


Parking Official Gives Himself a Ticket

In Groveland, Florida, Police Chief Melvin Tennyson is out $45, but he has saved himself piles and piles of trouble. According to, Tennyson parked illegally, his car blocking a sidewalk near city hall. A member of his department pointed out the infraction, so he wrote himself a ticket and paid the fine the next day.

“The sergeant brought it to my attention and I paid it.  It was the right thing to do,” Tennyson said Wednesday. “How can I have my officers write tickets and completely dismiss it?”

A resident took a photo of the chief’s vehicle parked illegally and it was circulated widely on Facebook in the hours after, though Tennyson says he was not aware of the buzz on social media until after he’d paid his fine.

Whether he knew about the attention his parking was getting online or not, Tennyson’s payment of the fine saved him a firestorm of bad publicity. People hate it when municipal officials break laws and get away with it. Tennyson was headed for a public relations mess, that he avoided by using a really smart tactic: honesty.

By honesty, I mean, he took responsibility for his actions and paid the consequences. I’d like to think the ticket and quick resolution of the fine were not a pre-emptive move by the police chief. I want to believe that he truly understands that he deserves a ticket just as much as anybody else who parks illegally. And I want to believe that he means what he says about doing the right thing.

Read the article here.

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John Van Horn

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