Shawnee Mayor Jeff Meyers was running late for a City Council meeting this week and he slid into the first available parking spot.
Except it was a handicapped parking spot and a former councilman took pictures of Meyers' illegally parked truck.
Former councilman Kevin Straub said Meyers has parked there before.
"I think he considers that his spot," said Straub, who shared his cellphone pictures with reporters.
Now with egg on his face, Meyers announced Thursday afternoon that he would donate $135 - the cost of a handicapped parking violation - to the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund.
In a statement, Meyers claimed that he knew "a full house was waiting on him because the parking lot was completely filled."
"The disabled spots were the only ones available and I made the decision that I would park there and accept whatever consequences occurred in order to get the meeting started. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the best decision. It won't happen again," Meyers said in his statement posted on the city's website.
Hogwash, according to Straub.
He said he entered the U-shaped parking lot just ahead of Meyers. Straub said Meyers failed to circle around the entire parking lot so it's impossible for him to know that all the parking spots were taken.
"If you don't go all the way around, you don't know if it's full or not," he said. "But he was running late and grabbed the first spot that was available."
The mayor also has access to any number of doors at City Hall and could have parked in the back of the building where ample spaces were available, Straub said.
After taking the pictures of the illegally parked truck, Straub said he asked the Shawnee police chief about it that night. He said the chief and his wife were astounded.
"He should know better," Straub quoted the police chief's wife as saying.
The chief didn't do anything that night, but Wednesday morning issued a written warning to Meyers.
When Meyers left the meeting a couple of hours later, Straub said he asked the mayor about him illegally parking. He said Meyers flippantly blew it off as necessary because he was running late and they couldn't start the meeting without him.
The mayor is only chagrined now and trying to make amends because of the adverse publicity, Straub said.
"I don't think he would have made (the donation) if he had not been caught. This is a way of getting out of trouble, a political move so he doesn't look bad," Straub said. "I don't think he will do it again (park illegally because of the publicity)."
Straub said City Hall insiders have told him that Meyers actually forgot that the meeting had been moved to Tuesday night because of the Veterans Day holiday. Straub said someone called Meyer to ask where he was and the mayor had to dash to City Hall.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:42 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:42:14 GMT
Authorities are looking for a missing elderly couple.Garnett Police Chief Kevin Pekarek said Vernon and Goldie Hunt left their home about 6:30 a.m. Monday for Dwight, IL. Vernon is 92 years old and GoldieMore >
Authorities say a missing elderly Kansas couple has been found safe in Michigan.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 9:28 AM EDT2013-06-19 13:28:10 GMT
One of Kansas City's most beloved barbecue joints went up in flames early Wednesday morning.Firefighters say the fire started at midnight at Gates Bar-B-Q near North 10th Street and State Avenue.when crewsMore >
One of Kansas City's most beloved barbecue joints went up in flames early Wednesday morning.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:34 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:34:16 GMT
Authorities are investigating after a person was shot in a car.Police responded to a shooting call at 11 a.m. Wednesday on Interstate 635 near State Avenue.The victims condition is not yet known at thisMore >
Authorities are investigating after a man was shot in a car on Interstate 635.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 5:45 AM EDT2013-06-19 09:45:09 GMT
A guerrilla gardener is on the loose in the Westport area, trying to beautify blighted areas once sat barren. Guerrilla gardeners grow plants, herbs and vegetables on public pieces of land that are inMore >
A blighted public area is now being called The Magic Garden after a woman decided to transform a neglected spot near the Westport post office.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:37 PM EDT2013-06-19 23:37:10 GMT
A Belton woman who sued Vatterott College over its enrollment practices has won a $13 million judgment against the college. Jennifer Kerr, 42, said the enrollment procedures caused her to spend thousandsMore >
A Belton woman who sued Vatterott College over its enrollment practices has won a $13 million judgment against the college.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 8:52 AM EDT2013-06-19 12:52:28 GMT
A central Ohio day care worker sprinkled drugs on snacks to get children in her day care to sleep during the day, according to police charges filed Monday that the woman adamantly denies as a misunderstoodMore >
A central Ohio day care worker sprinkled drugs on snacks to get children in her day care to sleep during the day, according to police charges filed Monday that the woman adamantly denies as a misunderstood joke.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 9:55 AM EDT2013-06-19 13:55:47 GMT
Former Kansas City Royals great Willie Wilson had to give up his World Series ring when he declared bankruptcy. Now his family, friends and fans are working to get it back. They're using Twitter andMore >
Former Kansas City Royals great Willie Wilson had to give up his World Series ring when he declared bankruptcy. Now his family, friends and fans are working to get it back.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:06 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:06:25 GMT
Gary Simpson admitted Tuesday that he so badly abused an infant last year that her skull was fractured.Simpson was a friend and live-in nanny to a Johnson County family. He repeatedly abused the then 2/12-month-oldMore >
Gary Simpson admitted Tuesday that he so badly abused an infant last year that her skull was fractured.More >