New York City’s Parks Department sought to fine a businessman $41,000 for damaging trees in pursuit of a vandal who stole his pro-Trump lawn signs.
WABC-TV reports that Mike Ricatto, 59, plastered trees in his Kew Gardens, Queens, neighborhood with “wanted” fliers after Donald Trump campaign signs in his front yard were stolen.
Ricatto’s surveillance cameras captured a grainy picture of the thief which he put on the fliers.
The Parks Department claims the staples Ricatto used to post the fliers caused damage to the trees, though the department’s own lawyer said staples don’t damage trees, according to the station.
“Weeks and week later, I got visited by some Parks Department personnel and they handed me 22 summonses,” Ricatto told the station.
Ricatto contends the summonses amount to fines of only $1,600, which he said he paid.
WABC reported that the Parks Department intended to ticket Ricatto $41,000, but the parks enforcement officer assigned the task refused, saying it was unjust.
DNAinfo New York reported in September that the Parks Department sent a city forester to investigate Ricatto after callers to the city’s 311 system complained about the fliers. The forester determined 11 trees suffered damage worth $41,000.
Meantime, DNAinfo reported Friday that the NYC’s Building Department fined a Trump supporter on Staten Island $2,500 for refusing to take down a “T” sign on the side of his house that is 16-feet tall and generated complaints.