Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- Some drivers with Crescent City Connection toll tags say they are getting fines for cars they have never owned, and in other cases, getting slapped with toll violations days or weeks past the due date.
"We have one on this car and one on the truck," said Frank Muscarello, pointing to his toll tag.
At least five times a week, the Marrero native and his wife Gayle pay 40 cents to cross the Crescent City Connection.
"It's the easiest way to do it, it's the easiest way, and it's automatic renewal. We get it on our credit card on Visa and it tells you've received $25 on your account," said Muscarello.
The West Bank couple liked the idea of their toll tags until a toll violation arrived in the mail.
"This has never happened before. It shouldn't have happened and it did happen. It's unwarranted and it just goes to show you the ineptness of the people over at the Crescent City Connection," said Muscarello, who points out that the $26 fine was sent two weeks after it was due.
"It was sent to me on Dec. 2, due on Nov. 20 and mailed on Nov. 30. Ten days after its due!" said Muscarello.
Eyewitness News has learned of at least a half-dozen similar violations sent to toll tag users that were days, if not weeks, past their due dates.
Those drivers all say funds were available on their toll tags. In other cases, drivers say the license plates captured on toll cameras don't match up to their license plates.
"After researching when you called me, it does appear that there is some level of clerical error which we are diligently working to rectify," said LDOTD Spokesperson Bambi Hall.
The CCC Division says it is trying to determine when the errors began and how many toll violations have been mailed out in error.
"I'm not sure where the breakdown is but we have new leadership at the Crescent City Connection Division and the new Executive Director is looking into it at this time," added Hall.
With toll collection on the CCC set to expire next December, this latest snafu is alarming to one state lawmaker.
"Anytime an entity is under scrutiny any type of mistake just adds to the public's mistrust," said state Sen. David Heitmeier, D-Algiers, who said he received one call from a constituent about the toll violation error.
"Instances like this or events like this of course just adds to the fact that the tolls should sunset," Heitmeier added.
And what about the Muscarello family? The couple refuse to pay their fine and hope they won't get another violation in the mail anytime soon.
"Its a horror story, it's really a horror story, and I'm not alone," said a frustrated Muscarello.
If you believe you received a violation notice in error, the CCC Division is asking drivers to contact Geauxpass customer service by e-mail or phone.