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Stiff fines levied on abusers of disabled persons’ parking placards

One person, an employee of a wealth management company, used a dead priest’s placard to get a disabled persons’ parking space.

Another person used a placard issued to her grandmother — who happens to be living in Georgia.

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A third person used his father-in-law’s placard to hold a space in front of his restaurant for a delivery vehicle.

Those are some of the examples of abuse of disabled persons’ parking placards highlighted today by the state Office of the Inspector General, which gave an update on 13 people it snared in November in an investigation.

The office said that the 13 have been fined $500 by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

The office also said that 12 of the 13 had their licenses suspended and will have to pay an additional $500 reinstatement fee to get their driving privileges back. (The 13th driver did not have a valid driver’s license and is facing charges of operating without a license.)

Eight of the placards belonged to relatives who were not in the vehicle; two belonged to a friend or co-worker who was not in the vehicle; and three belonged to people who were dead.

The investigation in the downtown area was conducted by the inspector general’s office in conjunction with the State Police and the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

The Registry also suspended five of the placard holders indefinitely when they did not appear at a Registry hearing about the alleged misuse of their placards.

It was the third investigation in recent years by the inspector general’s office of disabled parking placard abuse.

The office said that previously there had been a problem with the use of expired placards. But changes made to the placards by the Registry appear to have cut down on that problem, with investigators last year finding no use of expired placards, the office said.

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