If the 622 city employees who owe Municipal Court a combined $1 million in unpaid court costs, fines, fees and victim restitution don’t make arrangements to settle their debts by April 1, their paychecks could be up to 20 percent lighter.
That’s according to a letter sent to city-paid scofflaws yesterday about the collections effort of the courts and City Controller’s Office. David Wasson, chief deputy court administrator, said most owe less than $1,000 but the top scofflaw owed $150,000.
The 20 percent withholding only affects those who don’t make payment arrangements that could be $35 a month. Some debt traces back to the 1970s. Any employee who doesn’t respond to the letter will be on the receiving end of a court order directing the city to start garnishing wages.
“We’re not singling out city employees,” Wasson said. “We just want to get back in touch with you. … We’ll let you take years and years to pay it back monthly. It’s better to pay something than pay nothing.”
The city would not identify employees by name or the offenses for which they owed restitution to crime victims, costs, fines or bail judgments other than saying they are “all across the board.”