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Unpaid fines add up to big bucks

Pembroke PD audit finds $700K unpaid tickets, forfeitures

POSTED: July 26, 2014 6:00 a.m.

When Pembroke Police Chief Stacy
Strickland asked his clerk to audit the department’s
files and find out how many unpaid
fines might be floating around out there
somewhere, he probably wasn’t prepared for
the answer he got.
“In the initial report it was $700,000,”
Strickland said, noting some of the fines had
been outstanding since the early 1990s.
Strickland, who took over the department
on an interim basis in June 2013, brought that
information to city council in June this year,
after the clerk’s audi was complete.
Since then the department, which uses
Pioneer Credit Recovery to collect on overdue
fines, has cut that number down to about
$396,000, and Strickland said some of the
original $700,000 his clerk found might have
been due to typographical errors made in
years past.
The fines are from “anything that would
go before a judge to be adjudicated and he
imposes a fine,” Strickland said.
The money, when paid, goes into various
accounts and helps fund programs such as
victims witness. But it’s unclear how much
the city can recover.
Strickland said the city will follow the letter
of the law when it comes to collecting on
the old fines, but he also hopes people who
know they owe will pay up.
“My hope would be that people will do the
right thing and if they owe us, they pay it,” he

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