WEIRD NEWS
05/15/2016 11:24 am ET

Police Chief Busted For Parking On Sidewalk Does The Honorable Thing

Melvin Tennyson held himself accountable.

When a police chief was called out for parking his SUV on a sidewalk, he made sure to practice what he preaches.

Melvin Tennyson, the chief of Groveland Police Department in central Florida, issued himself his own $45 ticket — which he then immediately paid.

"I paid my fine like anyone else would," he told Fox 35. "I can't realistically and in good conscience hold anybody, a citizen or especially my own workforce, accountable if I don't hold myself accountable. It starts at the top."

Local citizen David Bires was passing City Hall in Groveland, 30 miles west of Orlando, on Tuesday when he spotted Tennyson's SUV on the sidewalk, according to Inside Edition.

He took photographs and posted them to Facebook:

"Groveland police department is handing out tickets to people who park their vehicles in their own driveway if they block the sidewalk," Bires wrote, adding, "But when the chief of police block sidewalks it's OK?"

The images soon went viral. Bires believes it was his post and subsequent public pressure that prompted Tennyson to voluntarily stump up the fine.

But Tennyson says he paid the ticket before even knowing anything about the Facebook status, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Tennyson later released a statement, which was posted to the department's Facebook page on Wednesday. Accompanying it was a photograph of a receipt to prove he'd paid the fine and screen grabs of Bires' post.

The police chief said he thought he'd parked "far enough off of the sidewalk as to not block the walkway along side of City Hall." But when a city road supervisor reached out to advise him of his poor parking, he said he'd agreed with the verdict. 

"As a result of my parking I believe the supervisor was correct, therefore I have voluntarily paid the $45 parking violation fee to City Hall for improper parking," he added.

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