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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 8:30 pm

Mayor offers to restore clerk's parking space

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

A day after he was accused of bullying and threatening Fort Wayne City Clerk Lana Keesling over a ticket for expired vehicle registration, Mayor Tom Henry has offered to restore her assigned parking space under Citizens Square. 

"It's become apparent the reassignment of parking spaces at Citizens Square has caused you a lot of angst. To forego any additional stress on your part, I have asked the Deputy Mayor to contact the building staff to try to accommodate your desire to park in the building," Henry wrote in an email Tuesday to Keesling. "It appears in order to open up additional space, various pieces of equipment need to be removed or repositioned. Therefore, it may take a little while to make an additional bay available. Hopefully this will ease some of the tension that has occurred." 

In a news conference Monday, Keesling accused Henry of threatening and attempting to bully her over a citation from the city's parking enforcement over a car with an expired registration. The temporary license plate on Henry's new city-owned car expired at the end of December. Henry, who was parked in the outdoor parking lot at Citizens Square, was ticketed on Feb. 6. 

After a series of emails between Keesling and the mayor, Henry reassigned her parking spot in the garage below Citizens Square to the city attorney. Keesling was told at that time she would have to park in her designated spot in the Town Center garage across Clinton Street. Keesling said she gave that spot to her deputy as a perk, since she did not need two spaces. 

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Keesling said she hasn't had a lot of time to read Henry's email, but would have a formal response sometime Wednesday. However, she did say that the issue at hand is not about a parking space. 

"There's a much bigger picture here, and that's the retaliation and the abuse and the bullying," Keesling said. "I think ... what's being forgotten by him is that it started out as a parking space and being retaliated by having the parking space taken away and then the retaliation and the threats I endured after that."