Ontario County man fights NYC ticket – where he’s never been – for months

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Clifton Springs native Tom Bush got a New York City violation ticket in the mail.

Get this: he’s never been there. The ticket was dismissed a few days ago, but only after months of hassle, and coming to News10NBC.

Around the end of September, Bush got a ticket for $75 from New York City for driving in a bus lane. But he says that’s impossible.

“I’ve never been there. If I was there, I would have paid the $75 for all that aggravation I went through but I’m not going to pay it if I didn’t do it,” he said.

Knowing he had never been there, he looked at the ticket. The van that was pictured on it was not his. So he thought it was a mistake and threw it out.

“Back in September, I called them and said, ‘Can you send me that picture? I want to see it again for proof.’ They said they didn’t have it anymore,” Bush said. “We didn’t keep the picture, of course, which was not a good thing on our part.”

For about three months Bush made countless phone calls, wrote certified letters, and took pictures.

“I’ve tried to tell them, it’s not me. If you look it up you can clearly see the license plate. It’s a Chevy express van. I have a Ford transit van.”

He says it was impossible to get in contact with the Finance Parking Violation and Collection Division (DOF) in NYC. “I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place and I come to see you,” he told us.

In November, Bush got a notice saying there was a default judgment against him for the amount of $75. “It was a letter saying they’re going to take my house, take my bank accounts.”

As you can imagine, that notice was terrifying. Bush says every time he called the collection division, he felt rushed, and that every representative he spoke to did not listen or take time to help resolve the mix up.  

“All they cared about was the payment they didn’t want to hear the story. They didn’t care about anything else,” Bush said.   

News10NBC sent all of Bush’s documentation to the finance department and explained his situation. The next day, a representative told us the ticket was dismissed Thursday.

And Bush is relieved.

“It’s been tough. I hate to say that about a ticket, but when they keep threatening you saying they’ll take your house for something you never did, it’s not right.”