Norfolk, Va. - In the past few years, Norfolk parking cashiers have lost $16,000. That's money you paid to park, but was missing when attendants turned in cash after their shifts. The city says it gets most of that money back by deducting from workers' paychecks.
But our investigation found costly cashier mistakes were not evenly spread across the city. NewsChannel 3 looked at all monthly reports where more than $100 was missing from any parking garage. One garage stood out—Waterside.
Waterside cashiers during some months lost $300, $700, even close to $1,000. No other garage misplaced money in such large blocks. And these records show Waterside's biggest mistakes were repaid with a cash or check. That's unusual. Most of the time, the city gets these bigger amounts by payroll deduction.
But other large losses aren't as easy to pinpoint. Some exceeding hundreds of dollars are just noted as "various" and not tied to any facility.
Waterside's losses were the biggest when the venue was filled with night clubs that attracted thousands every weekend. But a few years ago, the city evicted most of those clubs. Now, records show Waterside's losses are more in line with other facilities. On average, cashiers in city garages and lots lost more than $260 per month. Records show the city most often billed not the attendants, but the parking managers.
But when it comes to losses in the city's cash-only parking, the kind the auditor is investigating, it might be impossible to hold any of the attendants accountable. That's because the city's spokeswoman says Norfolk doesn't keep detailed records for cash-only parking.