Chicago’s impound accounting

“Chicago has impounded and sold off nearly 50,000 cars for unpaid tickets since 2011. Not a dime of the sales went toward the ticket debt; instead, the city and its towing contractor pocketed millions.”


Sandra Botello moved to Chicago five years ago for what she called “the opportunities.”

Now 41, she and her children had been evicted from her home in Idaho when her landlord’s property was foreclosed.

The move to Chicago indeed delivered opportunities. She earned an associates degree and then enrolled at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and now works as an executive administrative assistant downtown. And, two of her four kids snagged scholarships to private schools.

But her time in Chicago has also been mired with a major hurdle. It started with citations for the city road tax collected through “city stickers.” After failing to keep up with ticket payments, the city seized her car and sold it to a private towing company, only to have none of the sale price applied to her debt.

Botello is not alone.

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