Chicago punishes city workers who closed street during NBA, NHL games for free parking

Sometimes finding parking around the United Center in Chicago can be a real hassle. Apparently so much so that city employees were blocking off a local street on game days in order to free up parking for their friends and family members.

The City of Chicago recently punished 13 employees “for their role in a scheme that blocked off a street near the United Center so their friends and relatives could park for free during Bulls and Blackhawks games,” according to inspector general Joseph Ferguson (via DNAInfo).

The plot was discovered by city inspectors who staked out NHL and NBA games, including nine Blackhawks postseason contests, at the arena from April 2015 to February 2016. They witnessed Office of Emergency Management employees “allowing 62 cars to park for free on the west side of Wood Street between Madison Street and Warren Boulevard.”

Parking at the United Center usually means using one of the official parking lots that charge a fee. There’s also some limited street parking available, although most of it requires a permit or otherwise is not free.

That’s a challenge for locals trying to attend already-expensive games at the United Center given the lack of public transportation that goes directly to the arena. Currently, the closest “L” station to the United Center is at Ashland, nearly a mile from the building.

So a lot of people attending Blackhawks and Bulls games drive themselves, and that means parking is a regular headache.

City employees, according to Ferguson’s quarterly report, would use plastic cones and other barriers to redirect the public to other streets, breaking a city rule that prohibits “supervisors from directing other city employees to perform services for unauthorized purposes or accepting the benefits of such performance and giving preferential treatment in the course of employment to any person.”

Looks like their friends will have to get in line and pay $25 like the rest of us.

source: sb nation

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Chicago punishes city workers who closed street during NBA, NHL games for free parking
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