HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — A former City of Houston employee is in jail after being charged with a parking violation scheme that allegedly made her money.

While charges are still pending, Aisha Mercer, 45, was arrested on Wednesday on allegations that she attempted to exploit people in bad shape.

Officials believe Mercer encouraged parking violators to pay fees directly to Mercer through a third-party payment app, such as Zelle, over a six-month period in exchange for the removal of a wheel lock boot. There have been multiple complaints.

ParkHouston told ABC13 that Mercer resigned after launching an internal investigation following allegations received from a client. ParkHouston said it is cooperating fully with the Houston Police Department’s investigation.

ABC13 spoke to people outside the Municipal Courts building on Wednesday evening.

“More to the side, and that’s wrong. You’re in a position of power, and you shouldn’t take advantage of it,” Charles Torres said.

“Damn, if I’m in a tight spot, I’ll give him $100 to get rid of it. I’m not okay with that, but if it’s more convenient, that’s what I’ll do “, James Glover said candidly.

ParkHouston reminded customers that the only way to pay a boot removal fee is to call the number listed on the sticker on your window. ParkHouston agents cannot accept direct payments for citations or release a boot.

Read ParkHouston’s full statement below:

The former ParkHouston employee arrested by the Houston Police Department for allegedly ordering parking violators to pay fees into her personal account through a third-party payment app service is no longer employed by the City of Houston. The individual resigned from ParkHouston after an internal investigation was launched following allegations ParkHouston received from a customer.

ParkHouston is cooperating fully with the Houston Police Department’s investigation. We have no additional information to share at this time.

Please be aware that if an anti-theft box is placed on your vehicle by law enforcement, the only way to pay for the cost of removing it is to call the phone number listed on the sticker on your window. ParkHouston agents cannot accept direct payments for citations or to release a boot. If you don’t know how to resolve a situation, call 311.

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