Good luck getting ahold of NYC’s parking summons advocate
The city pays him $120,000 a year to help New Yorkers fight unfair parking tickets — but he’s proven harder to find than a Midtown parking spot.
Parking Summons Advocate Jean Wesh of Queens was hired by the Department of Finance in April to “[assist] members of the public, who do not already have their own representation, with parking-summons complaints and issues,’’ with the agency adding that it would set up a toll-free number to connect motorists to the taxpayer-funded fixer’s office.
But after eight months on the job, Wesh has yet to get any staff, a hotline number or even a mention on a department Web site.
“You can call 311,” he offered to The Post when asked how people could contact him, while sitting in his makeshift office in a Finance Department satellite building in Jamaica, Queens, where the walls were bare and only a computer monitor, keyboard and five pieces of paper sat on his desk.
When The Post called 311 asking to be connected to the parking summons advocate, the city operator was at a loss.
“I never heard of that guy,” the operator said, offering instead to put the reporter through to the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate.
The Finance Department’s website does not list any information about Wesh or his office, and city forms used by about 80 percent of New Yorkers to fight their tickets by mail or online make no mention of him.
At one point, Wesh gave The Post a city-issued business card — but then said not to divulge the information on it.
“This is my business card, but I really can’t publicize this information because it has my cell phone number on it and my own personal office number,” Wesh said.
Wesh couldn’t say how many people he’s helped dispute tickets for over the past months.
“I don’t even have that information yet. [The office is] so new. I’m still in the process of building everything out,” he said.
So how is he getting connected with the more than 1 million New Yorkers who dispute parking tickets each year? He said he pokes around DOF buildings, where a fraction of New Yorkers pay their tickets in person, to try to find people who look like they need assistance.
“I’ll go around some of the business centers and I’ll see if anybody wants help,” he said.
Only about 20 percent of people who fight tickets do so in person, according to DOF figures.
Wesh happily offered to look up a reporter’s parking ticket while he was being interviewed — but his computer was not working.
“Unfortunately, today we’re having all sorts of problems with the system here. The tickets are not coming up,” he said. “The system is down.”
Wesh previously worked for the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, making $97,000 a year. He got a $23,000 salary bump when he was installed in his new gig.
The Department of Finance did not respond to calls for comment.
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