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Missouri State’s Office of University Safety is accused of allegedly enforcing parking ticket quotas.
Photo provided by Missouri State University
Missouri State’s Office of University Safety is accused of allegedly enforcing parking ticket quotas.

State attorney general probes MSU over parking practices

Posted online

State Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office announced an investigation into parking practices at Missouri State University.

Schmitt’s office received whistleblower complaints alleging MSU’s Office of University Safety has enforced a parking ticket quota to increase funding for the department and the school. The attorney general’s office alleges violations of Senate Bill 5, which imposes a limit on traffic ticket revenue and “guards against taxation by citation,” Schmitt said in a news release.

“Students attending Missouri State University already have enough financial burden between tuition, books, boarding and more – overzealously ticketing on campus only subjects students to more financial struggles,” Schmitt said in the release. “Missourians – especially students – shouldn’t be used solely as ATMs to drive revenue for public institutions.”

The whistleblower complaints allege the Office of University Safety bumped up hours dedicated to parking enforcement. Safety officers allegedly were told to “step up” their ticket counts and “show people what we are made of,” according to Schmitt’s office.

MSU officials said in a statement the university would fully comply with the investigation and provide documentation requested by Schmitt’s office.

“As a university, we take great pride in providing a safe and fair environment for our students and visitors,” President Clif Smart said in the statement. “If the investigation finds that any of our practices violated the law, we will take all necessary actions to promptly correct the situation.”


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When I got a ticket a few years ago for parking in the E-Factory west lot (when school was not in session) when our IT group starting meeting there, naive me asked, "Why do I get a ticket for parking in a parking lot I paid tax dollars to build?" Crickets...was finally told "No one ever asked that?"

I heard repeatedly later the term MSU employees use is "Parking Nazis."

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