Chicago City Orders Seizure of Mayor Johnson’s Motorcade SUVs for Unpaid Traffic Tickets

The Illinois Attorney General/Facebook

The City of Chicago has taken the unprecedented step of issuing seizure orders for two SUVs from the motorcade of Democratic Mayor Brandon Johnson. The reason for this drastic action is the failure to pay a significant amount of accumulated traffic fines. Mayor Johnson’s convoy of vehicles has allegedly neglected to settle a stack of fines from red light and speed camera infractions, resulting in a total amount of $2,130.

Records show that these SUVs, which are part of a four-vehicle fleet that transports Mayor Johnson, have accumulated 21 citations and a warning in the past seven months since Johnson took office. This information was reported by CWB Chicago, a local news outlet.

The accumulation of tickets by Mayor Brandon Johnson’s motorcade has surpassed the total number received by former mayors Rahm Emanuel, Lori Lightfoot, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle during their entire four-year terms. This surge in violations is bringing attention to the mayor’s adherence to the city’s traffic laws.

A report published on December 20, 2023, detailed the situation, noting a substantial increase in fines from $855 for eleven violations reported in mid-October to $1,725 by the end of November. The current amount stands at $2,130. According to CWBChicago, only two of those tickets have been paid since Johnson’s inauguration as mayor.

Since November 30, the city has issued seizure orders against two of the four mayoral SUVs. Three seizure orders have been issued for one of the SUVs for non-payment of three speed camera tickets. The city also issued three more seizure notices against another car for failing to pay two speeding tickets and a red light violation.

CWBChicago has repeatedly reached out to the mayor’s office for comment, specifically regarding the motorcade’s speeding and red light running habits, who is responsible for paying the bills, and when payment will be made. The news outlet also mentioned an unpaid ticket issued to the SUVs during former Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s term, which remains unpaid, and has not resulted in a seizure order.

In comparison, when former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s red light and speeding tickets were revealed during his administration, he paid the fines out of his own pocket. He later transferred responsibility for payment to whichever Chicago police officer was driving at the time of the violation, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the number of citations issued to Emanuel’s cars.

Similarly, Preckwinkle promised that tickets issued to her county-operated SUVs would be paid, but it was later discovered that her tickets were protested and frequently dismissed.

The situation regarding Mayor Brandon Johnson’s motorcade and the accumulation of unpaid traffic fines raises questions about accountability and compliance with traffic laws at the highest levels of city government. The ongoing issue may prompt further action from city officials or lead to changes in how these fines are addressed in the future.


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