7OYS: Wrongly issued D.C. parking ticket finally voided

(WJLA) - It was November 6, 2013 when Stephen Combs parked on the 400 block of I Street NW near his office.

"I got out to check the signs that I was parked good,” he said about the street-sweeping sign clearly marked as "in effect from March through October."

Yet Combs still had a ticket waiting on his windshield for disobeying the street sweeping sign – the one that wasn’t in effect anymore.

"It's baffling," he said.

Combs challenged the citation, but the DMV denied it, saying he failed to provide appropriate supporting evidence. But all the hearing examiner needed to do was look at this picture taken by the ticket writer, which shows the sign. The sign’s validity dates are also posted on the city’s own website.

"If they got a picture of the sign on November 6, why didn't they notice the restrictions lifted October 31?" questioned Combs.

So case dismissed, right? Wrong.

The ticket was mistakenly written for Northeast, so we checked the 400 block of I Street NE, where there were no signs at all. Our news partner WTOP even got DDOT to confirm that there were never any street sweeping signs posted.

"This is total incompetence,” says John Townsend from AAA Mid-Atlantic. “This hearing officer should know the basic rules of the road in the District of Columbia. He blew it, he got it wrong, and justice was not upheld."

Still, the DMV refused to throw out the ticket because it didn’t issue the citation, and Combs was appealing the DMV’s previous decision through the DMV’s appeal – which can take up to two years.

But after WTOP and 7 On Your Side started pushing for answers, the Department of Public Works -- which issued the ticket -- finally voided the ticket that never should have been issued in the first place.