Police say no special treatment on towed car for Mayor Sly James and his son

05/07/2013 3:41 PM

05/20/2014 10:44 AM

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and his son Kyle recently retrieved a car from the city tow lot without paying the normal $200 fee, but police say the mayor didn’t get special treatment.

In fact, Mayor James and Kyle together spent more than $700 resolving parking tickets and other violations with the car.

The car is titled to the mayor and his son but belongs to Kyle, 24, who is responsible for insurance, registration and other costs, according to mayoral spokesman Danny Rotert.

In what began a series of apparent miscommunications, police towed the 2007 Honda Accord from in front of the mayor’s Union Hill home on April 25 because it had expired tags. The car also had some damage and an officer thought it was abandoned, Rotert said.

About 40 minutes after it was towed, the mayor’s wife noticed it missing and was concerned the car had been stolen. One of the mayor’s bodyguards contacted his supervisor in the police chief’s office, and together they discovered the car had been impounded at the tow lot with an outstanding warrant and expired tags.

The mayor relayed that an attorney had taken care of all of Kyle’s warrants on April 17 and the supervisor ordered the release of the car, without charging the fee, believing it was towed in error because it wasn’t abandoned.

Rotert said the mayor did not seek the fee waiver. “He wasn’t looking for any special treatment,” Rotert said.

Police said it is not uncommon to waive the fee if they believe an error occurred.

As it turned out, the car did have one remaining warrant associated with it, for parking at an expired meter. That warrant was apparently overlooked on April 17 because it was associated with Kyle’s car and not his name. Police spokesman Capt Tye Grant said police did not verify what the mayor’s bodyguard relayed about the warrants, and they should have checked for warrants before ordering the car’s release.

Rotert said the mayor and Kyle together paid off all remaining fines. Municipal Court Administrator Megan Pfannenstiel confirmed all outstanding fines relating to the car, totaling $722.50, were paid on Monday.

The car is now parked back at the mayor’s house –– in the driveway, on private property. Attorney Coulter deVries said Kyle is taking steps to get it properly registered.

To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-226-2058 or send email to lhorsley@kcstar.com.

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