Speed-camera confusion in Cleveland suburb

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 18:42:56-05

More questions tonight about a Cleveland suburb handing out speed-camera tickets. 5 On Your Side Investigators tackled this topic a month ago and there are more issues now.

Alberta Payton from Cleveland Heights is a bit confused. She appealed two tickets snapped by a speed-camera in East Cleveland on Superior Avenue right in front of a school. She told me one of them was during the school's holiday break.

During the appeals process, she told me the ticket was dismissed.

"So, I was happy about that but then I got a letter in the mail," Payton said. The letter was sent 3-4 weeks after the dismissal and said she was on the hook for that $95 ticket.

"They got us confused here,” said Payton with a shocked look on her face. “And I'm sure there are other people who are going through the same predicament."

In fact, in early January NewsChannel 5 investigators reported others were having the same problem –getting a ticket during holiday break.

"Why is it a camera out here in a school zone where there's no school?" questioned Tim Austin during our Jan. 6 report.

We went straight to city hall looking for answers. The mayor's office referred us to the police chief. The police chief referred us to the law director. The law director was in court.

We have reported Mayor Gary Norton said the appeals process comes with "minimal inconvenience". "That was a big inconvenience,” said Payton.  “No one has time to keep coming to East Cleveland regarding a ticket."

Payton explained that the police chief told her to drop off both tickets to him. She just got two letters saying now she doesn't have to pay the fines. She appreciates the eventual help but is a little exhausted. "I think East Cleveland needs to stop trying to take money from people."

We spoke further with the police chief who said if after that initial appeals process there's still some confusion, that you can call him for clarification even though he said it's not officially a police matter…it's a civil matter.