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Parking chief fired for... yes, parking illegally

Date 3 Dec 2007

Rome's mayor sacked the city's traffic and parking chief on Sunday after a newspaper reported he parked his car in a no parking zone and displayed a handicapped permit that belonged to an 86-year old woman.

Giovanni Catanzaro parked his red Alfa Romeo Brera in a tow away zone near the Spanish Steps in central Rome before heading off to a restaurant on Friday night, Roman daily Il Messaggero reported on Sunday. His car displayed a permit for a disabled driver that was no longer valid and initially issued to a senior citizen. The paper noted that officials almost never tow away a disabled person's vehicle no matter where it is parked.

A spokesman for Rome's Mayor Walter Veltroni said Catanzaro had been removed from his post as head of the city's municipal police force after the newspaper report.

Rome has a series of restrictions on driving and parking along many of its narrow, cobblestoned streets, though parking illegally - often on pavements and pedestrian crossings - is a common sight across the city.

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