Now this is accountability: News10NBC goes to bat for man facing fine he never could have earned

Updated: 08/22/2014 7:01 PM
Created: 08/22/2014 5:12 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

Part of our mission at News10NBC is accountability. If you do something wrong you should pay the penalty. But if you find that you're being accused of something that you know you didn't do, that's where we come in and go to bat for you. And tonight, it's a home run. 

A ticket came in the mail this week for Michael Zabelny of Greece. It was a ticket from the Town of Brookhaven Parking Violations Bureau. 

The fine?


Brean: Have you ever been to Brookhaven, Long Island? 

Michael Zabelny: No. Didn't even know where it was til today.

Brookhaven is 400 miles away in the middle of Long Island. 

"I thought it was some kind of a joke or a scam," Zabelny said. 

But it's real. $125 for a parking violation back on July 16th, 2014. But there's absolutely no way Michael Zabelny could have violated this law on Long Island. He's an amputee and confined to a wheel chair.

Not only that, "I haven't driven my car since 2012," he said. 

So how does this happen?

Well the license plate numbers on the ticket are the same digits on the license plate that once belonged to Michael. But he says he turned that in to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles last summer. Now it's turned up on a ticket in a place Zabelny's never been. 

"There's no way I'm paying for that," he said. "Like I said I haven't driven a car in three years. Why should I pay that?"

Now the good news

We got some good news on this late this afternoon. After we made calls to the DMV and the Town of Brookhaven, the town discovered that a serious clerical error was made by the business it hires to collect outstanding fines. The license plate number on the ticket is completely different than what appears on the fine Michael Zabelny got. The lawyer for the town says she is changing the information in their system. 

Now -- Michael Zabelny is off the hook. 

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