COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Democratic attorney general candidate David Pepper has paid nearly $10,000 in parking fines over the past 14 years after being ticketed more than 180 times, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press.
Hamilton County court records show Pepper, who faces Republican incumbent Mike DeWine this fall, was ticketed mostly for parking at meters that had expired or in no-parking or truck loading zones.
He also was ticketed about a dozen times for displaying expired plates. The AP review shows Pepper was cited an average of 13 times a year, most recently in July.
The bulk of the tickets came from 2007 to 2009, while he was county commissioner. Fines ranged from $14 to $100, some doubled because they were paid late.
Campaign spokesman Peter Koltak said Pepper got many of the tickets while attending late meetings.
"Amid a hectic schedule, mostly years back, David got too many tickets, and he paid them," Koltak said. "He's happy to debate old parking tickets versus Mike DeWine's current practices as attorney general."
Pepper, a Cincinnati lawyer, has criticized DeWine for politicizing the process for doling out lucrative state collections and special counsel work.
The Democrat's dozens of parking tickets come to light as Democrats' gubernatorial candidate, Ed FitzGerald, faces criticism for lacking a valid driver's license for a decade.
Records show Pepper has paid $9,229 for 182 tickets since 2000, continuing to park illegally even after his high number of citations was featured in the local news.
DeWine campaign spokesman Ryan Stubenrauch said having so many tickets isn't a simple oversight.
"Nearly everyone has made a mistake by forgetting to go back and feed a parking meter," Stubenrauch said. "But that Mr. Pepper racked up nearly $10,000 in fines shows a stunning disregard for basic traffic laws - particularly for someone running to be Ohio's top law officer."