Let’s say you concocted a scheme to embezzle parking violation payments. [Haunted by old parking tickets, news, March 25] You couldn’t mark violations “paid” in the computer system because cash wouldn’t balance and an audit would catch you. You also couldn’t simply leave violations in the computer system where past-due notices would be issued; a horde of drivers bearing canceled checks would quickly descend on village hall, exposing your scheme. You couldn’t just delete the violations; there are systems to catch improper deletions, for the very purpose of preventing embezzlement.

So, you devise a programming fix to quarantine the violations in the system: The violations are still there, but collection notices aren’t generated. Years later, when you no longer work for the village, your successor stumbles on the bin of quarantined violations and voila – thousands of past-due notices are issued for already-paid tickets. Maybe the village doesn’t need a collection firm but a forensic auditor.

Editor’s note: Village hall says the parking ticket problem was caused by a system glitch, not embezzlement.

Bob Stigger
Oak Park

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