Now-former ParkHouston employee charged with bribery after alleged parking violation scheme

Thursday, November 17, 2022
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A judge set a $10,000 bond for a now-former city of Houston employee accused of a parking violation scheme that made her money.

Aisha Mercer, 45, has been charged with bribery, a second-degree felony. Mercer was arrested Wednesday after preying on parking violators and scamming them out of money, according to charging to documents.

She used to work for ParkHouston.

Officials believe Mercer encouraged parking violators to pay fees directly to her via a third-party payment app, like Zelle, over a six-month period in exchange for taking off a wheel-locking boot. There were multiple complaints.

This money allegedly went into her pocket and not toward the victim's parking violation fees.

ParkHouston told ABC13 Mercer resigned after an internal investigation was launched following allegations received from a customer. ParkHouston said it's fully cooperating with the Houston Police Department's investigation.

ABC13 spoke with people outside the Municipal Courts building Wednesday night.

"Extra on the side, and that's wrong. You're in a position of power, and you shouldn't take advantage of it," Charles Torres said.

Mercer eventually resigned. It's unclear how much money was taken.

ParkHouston reminded customers that the only way to pay the fee to have a boot removed is to call the number listed on the sticker on your window. ParkHouston officers cannot take direct payments for citations or release a boot.

Read ParkHouston's full statement below:

The former ParkHouston employee arrested by the Houston Police Department for allegedly directing parking violators to pay fees to her personal account via a third-party payment app service is no longer employed by the City of Houston. The individual resigned from ParkHouston after an internal investigation was launched following allegations ParkHouston received from a customer.

ParkHouston is fully cooperating with the Houston Police Department's investigation. We have no additional information to share at this time.

Please be aware that if a wheel-locking boot is placed on your vehicle by parking enforcement, the only way to pay the fee for its removal is to call the phone number listed on the sticker placed on your window. ParkHouston officers cannot take direct payments for citations or to release a boot. If you are not sure how to resolve a situation - call 311.

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