HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBS 2) – A New Jersey woman is heading to jail for dismissing her own parking tickets – 200 of them.
Virginia Pagan was led away in handcuffs, set to begin a three-year prison sentence. The former Jersey City court administrator admitted to her role in a ticket-fixing scheme involving herself and four other municipal judges.
“This business of dismissing these parking tickets wasn’t done for profit,” Pagan’s attorney, Dennis Mahoney, said. “She wasn’t selling dismissals, so to speak – these were her own parking tickets. That doesn’t make it right, of course.”
Back in June, Pagan pleaded guilty to using her position to gain access to computer records, dismissing 215 parking tickets that had been issued to herself and to her daughter.
The 55-year-old mother and grandmother told a judge she was embarrassed and ashamed by what she did.
In handing down the sentence, Judge Harry Carroll said Pagan’s job within the court system made her actions particularly disgraceful. He said he wanted to send a message to others who may be tempted to abuse their power as well.
“Miss Pagan’s actions do reflect negatively, and unfortunately serve to foster a lack of trust and competence in our court system, and certainly that cannot, and will not, be condoned,” Judge Carroll said.
The judge ordered Pagan to pay restitution for the unpaid tickets, which amounts to more than $5,000. The judge also barred Pagan from ever working for the public again.