A candidate for Allentown City Council agreed to pay almost $900 in fines Thursday morning to put his most recent problems with parking tickets in his rear view mirror.
Alfonso Todd pleaded guilty to driving while his operating privilege was suspended and two parking tickets before District Justice James Narlesky, who fined him a total of $897. Todd then signed an agreement to pay the money by March 29.
After the hearing, the 41-year-old Todd, who runs a marketing and event coordination company, told WFMZ.com that he wanted to make it clear "I am not some scofflaw who was driving around with a suspended license. I'm here to take care of all of my responsibilities and to put this thing behind me."
He said he only became aware last month that his driving privileges were suspended, when a Bethlehem police officer told him about it.
Todd said the officer discovered the suspension after he pulled Todd over for a burned out license plate light and ran a check on his license. "I didn't even get cited for what I was pulled over for," Todd noted, adding with a chuckle, "I drive like a grandma."
Todd said he called PennDOT to find out the cause of the suspension. "They told me it was because of two unpaid parking tickets from 2010,"
Todd said he made "a bulk payment" of fines tied to parking tickets "several years ago," and those two tickets "must have fell through the cracks."
Before Thursday's hearing, court records show that since 2004, Todd was convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, parking violations a dozen times, and that he had been cited 34 times in Lehigh and Northampton counties.
Todd said many of those tickets came when he lived along Broad Street in Bethlehem. "I had never lived before on a street where there were parking meters, and I wasn't used to it," Todd said.
Asked if his legal problems will affect his primary campaign, Todd predicted, "They will have no effect." He expects voters to understand, "because parking tickets are one of those things everybody gets. We all make mistakes, because we're all people."
Todd said he will continue to work to "take Allentown to the place I know it can be -- a city of greatness."