HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island driver has been barraged with red-light camera violations, even though his car was not involved and he has proof.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the wrong man may now lose his license.
“I’ve had many a sleepless night because of this ridiculous situation,” said Domenic Maffetone of North Lindenhurst.
Maffetone, 84, has been counting his tickets for allegedly turning right on red lights illegally – across Suffolk County multiple times. But he said he was never the one who did it.
“I’ve received close to 20,” he said. “It wasn’t my auto.”
Maffetone drives a black pickup truck, but the vehicle that appears in the red-light camera photos appears to be a white or silver sedan.
Maffetone turned in his old plates and got new numbers when he bought the pickup in 2001 – 14 years ago. Still, the postman continues to deliver citations to Maffetone for someone else’s infractions.
“I have it all on record,” Maffetone said.
The widower and grandfather has spent countless hours trying to solve the riddle that no one in the red light program seemed to be willing to acknowledge.
“The plates that I had — 14 years ago – now, the DMV decided to reissue that same plate, only with the New York Yankee logo on it,” Maffetone said. “That’s how they got away with reusing the same plate number. I am stuck in the middle.”
Maffetone has been threatened with the loss of his license. Collection agencies have sent him threatening notices.
In 2013, he was able to expunge seven of the tickets when the Department of Motor Vehicles acknowledged the error. But a dozen more tickets are still pending.
“Seven times they exonerated me,” Maffetone said. “And yet, they continue to send citations, looking for $105 for each one. It gets you in the gut, you know? Why is this happening to me?
CBS2 reached out to the DMV and the Suffolk County executive’s office, whose staff said they will work to resolve the issue.
The DMV is also investigating the plate numbers – the retired one that Maffetone had, and the newer one that was reissued with the Yankees logo on the plate.
In the meantime, Maffetone is ordered to appear in court April 1, as the red light safety program seeks to collect hundreds in unpaid fines.