“Saturday Night Live” and Second City alumna Rachel Dratch received a reminder this week from the city where she got her start: a Chicago parking ticket notice – from 1997.
Dratch tweeted Wednesday, “Chicago does not f around. I received this parking ticket in the mail today. Look at date. It’s from TWENTY years ago.”
The $73.20 ticket, dated Dec. 8, 1997, was issued for a location one block from Second City. Dratch performed in the Second City Mainstage cast from 1995 to 1998 alongside comedians Tina Fey and Jon Glaser. She won two Jeff Awards for “Best Actress in a Revue” and debuted her two-woman show, “Dratch and Fey,” show at the Chicago theater.
The actress went on to star in seven seasons of “Saturday Night Live” from 1999 to 2006, creating the memorable characters Debbie Downer and “Boston Teen” Denise – but she hasn’t escaped Chicago just yet.
There is no statute of limitations on parking tickets in the city. Chicago has ramped up debt collection in an effort to raise revenue, along with new red-light ticketing that resulted in a $38.75 million settlement.
The Department of Finance said in a statement they notified Dratch five times before referring her ticket to a collection agency.
Dratch, who has also starred in film and television shows including “30 Rock,” “Ugly Betty,” “Broad City,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Parks and Recreation,” is legally obligated to pay the fine.
But Chicago attorney Patrick Keating, who specializes in transportation, said an out-of-towner like Dratch could safely ignore it. If you have two outstanding tickets and live in Chicago, the city can boot your car, but otherwise, Keating said, “There’s really not much the city can do.”
“I guess they figure it’s always worth a shot and somebody might pay them,” he said. “It might be legal, but it’s not fair.”
Twitter users chimed in Thursday, calling the city a Debbie Downer and urging her to contest. Another responded simply, “Welcome to Chicago.”