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Kerry fined for failing to shovel sidewalk outside home

The Louisburg Square home of Secretary of State John Kerry.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

As the globe-trotting secretary of state, there simply is no time to, let’s say, clean up after a massive snowstorm.

And the city took notice.

On Thursday, Boston officials said they slapped John F. Kerry with a $50 fine for failing to clear the snow-clogged sidewalk on the Pinckney Street side of his Beacon Hill mansion. It was a very public rebuke of one of the city’s most famous dwellers.

Kerry, who was en route to Boston after an overseas trip, was not in town when a massive blizzard struck New England, nor was he here for the messy cleanup at his Louisburg Square property.


The secretary will promptly pay the fine, his spokesman Glen Johnson said Thursday afternoon.

“Diplomats — they’re just like us,’’ Johnson said. “Secretary Kerry was working overseas while the blizzard packed a wallop back home.”

Kerry was in Saudi Arabia attending the funeral of King Abdullah with President Obama.

Boston’s Citizens Connect website had a picture of the snow, and the blog Universal Hub posted the image. The picture shows a snowy sidewalk alongside Kerry’s brick mansion with yellow hazard tape strung next to it.

The ticket was issued at 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Johnson confirmed.

The yellow hazard tape was put in place to warn pedestrians of falling snow and ice from atop the building.

But Johnson said the snow removal firm misconstrued the tape as police tape and thought that part of the sidewalk was off limits.

Once the shovelers understood they were allowed to enter the area, they finished clearing the sidewalk late Thursday morning, Johnson said.

By 5:45 p.m., snow was perfectly cleared from 19 Louisburg Square, and people in the neighborhood seemed unfazed by the whole affair.

“The snow has all been shoveled now, the secretary will gladly pay the ticket, and let’s hope this is the last blizzard of the year,’’ the spokesman said.


Kerry’s ticket was part of an aggressive effort by the city, whose code enforcers also doled out citations to several departments and agencies — including the Boston Public Library, Boston public schools, and the MBTA — that did not clear snow from their properties Thursday.

Globe correspondent Derek J. Anderson contributed to this report. Meghan E. Irons can be reached at meghan.irons@globe.com.