Liu'd Behavior: Comptroller Hopeful Fined $588K for Posters - NBC New York

Liu'd Behavior: Comptroller Hopeful Fined $588K for Posters

Nearly 8,000 tickets, at $75 a pop



    Inspiring Stories of Hope
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    John Liu has been posterized

    The rest of the city may be focused on the mayor's race today, with the debate this evening, but the Sanitation Department is going to be paying attention to comptroller hopeful John Liu.

    That's because Liu's campaign has allegedly garnered 7,840 tickets for putting up illegal posters around the city -- totaling $588,000 -- the New York Postfirst reported.

    Sanitation Dept. spokesman Vito Turso said they first tried to send a set of 302 summonses to a Liu campaign address provided by the Board of Elections, but they were returned as undeliverable.

    Now, "New York's Strongest" will hand-deliver the 302 plus another 1,261more to Liu headquarters in Queens.

    "What we are going to attempt to day, is serve those summonses," Turso told NBC New York.

    Liu allegedly racked up the record number of violations by plastering campaign posters on city property, garnering a $75 dollar fine for each instance.

    Turso said the posters were put up on things like city utility poles, the center medians of roadways, telephone poles and such.

    "I'm assuming they  are overzealous campaign workers," he said. But he noted that no matter who physically put them up, Liu is liable.

    "The law states that if your name is on the poster there is a 'rebuttable presumption' that you authorized the placement," said Turso.

    The city's Environmental Control Board could opt to reduce the fees if the campaign's lawyer makes a good enough case.

    "We write 'em, they fight 'em," said Turso.

    And a Liu spokeswoman said the campaign never received notice of any violations.

    "Typically a campaign is notified when there are fines or penalties, and we have not received any notification about one violation," said Liu campaign spokeswoman Juanita Scarlett.

    As of 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, Scarlett said that Liu's campaign HQ still hadn't received any summonses.

    "The amount, quite honestly, sounds exorbitant, [but] we will look through any documents that we get," Scarlett told NBC New York.

    Turso noted that other campaigns also racked up their own fines, although not as much.

    Current City Comptroller and mayoral hopeful William Thompson had about 800 campaign flyers pulled down by Sanitation's Poster Unit, and Public Advocate contender Bill de Blasio had nearly 2000 taken down -- which would total nearly $150,000.

    Bloomberg only had 70 posters pulled down this year, but perhaps he learned his lesson last time. Turso said Bloomberg's campaign was fined nearly $300,000 in the 2005 mayoral race for illegally posted flyers.