BROOKLYN, Ohio (WJW)-- The FOX 8 I-Team is investigating a picture taken when a local city council president parked in a spot reserved for the handicapped. When we tracked the councilman down, he sped away from our camera.
Last month, Brooklyn Council President Ron Van Kirk parked in an area reserved for the handicapped in the front of city hall. A witness passing by snapped pictures.
“The council president walked over to his car. It was parked blocking two handicapped spots. I grabbed my phone," Rob Slattery said. “Somebody’s gotta do the right thing and report things. He’s supposed to be a city leader. And, doing this… Right in front of city hall.”
Slattery turned to the I -Team after he says he contacted city hall about this and got no response.
This week, we found Councilman Van Kirk in his car outside his workplace.
“And I’m at work , right now. If you’d like to call and schedule something, I’d be happy to sit down and talk with you," he said.
But when we asked why he had parked in a spot for the handicapped, Van Kirk drove off.
The witness told us, on the day he took the photos, he saw the Brooklyn mayor walk out with the council president.
We set up an interview with the mayor, but the next day she canceled.
“The issue was resolved immediately with adequate measures," Mayor Katie Gallagher said in an email.
Then Van Kirk also sent an email. He told the I-Team on the day in question, he pulled into the handicap zone since, “The parking spots…were full…I was only going to be there for a few minutes.”
"In my haste I made a mistake and should not have stopped there and will not do so in the future," he said.
The mayor also wrote she told the council president not to park in those spots again.
We found, last year, Brooklyn police wrote 26 tickets for handicap parking violations.
Meantime, we also noticed something about the Brooklyn City Hall. There are limited parking in front, but right around back, you can find dozens of other parking spaces. Those spaces out back start just steps away from the door.