HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A now-former city of Houston employee is in jail after being accused of a parking violation scheme that would make her money.
While charges are still pending, 45-year-old Aisha Mercer was arrested Wednesday on allegations that she tried to exploit people in a bad situation.
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 wheeling-locking boot. There were multiple complaints.
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.
"Shoot, if I'm in a tough situation, I'm going to give her $100 to get it off. I don't agree with it, but if it's more convenient, that's what I'm going to do," James Glover candidly said.
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.