By her own recollection, St. Paul Parks and Recreation employee Megan Campbell was driving a supply van back from a city storage building on the city’s West Side when she turned a corner, causing serious front-bumper damage to a parked car.
The damaged 2001 Nissan Pathfinder in question wasn’t just anybody’s vehicle. It was her own.
Now, Campbell has filed a claim against the city seeking $1,600 to $1,900 from public coffers for damage caused to her personal vehicle by a city worker — herself.
“Because I was working for the city and driving the city vehicle, I feel they are responsible for paying for the damage done to my car,” Campbell wrote in a “notice of claim” form received this week by the city clerk’s office.
Campbell, a 2014 college grad, has worked for the Parks and Recreation Department since May.
“I think I can safely say this is a very unusual claim,” said City Clerk Shari Moore, who has received some 400 claims this year from residents, many from car damage caused by towing and potholes.
A reporter’s call to Campbell was not returned Wednesday.
City officials say they have not yet reviewed the details of her claim, but a number of initial concerns stand out. The supply van had been rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and neither Campbell nor the rental agency reported damage to the van after the Aug. 4 crash, said parks department spokesman Brad Meyer.
Campbell’s claim maintains that the van, a Chevy Express, sustained a scrape and a popped tire.
So, here’s what should happen: the City should indeed have to pay for the damage done by one of their drivers to the car, AND should have to pay the rental company for damages done by one of its drivers for the damages done to the rental vehicle, AND should garnishee the wages of the employee responsible until the debt has been paid in full, since it was the negligent employee who was directly responsible for the situation.
Meanwhile, they might choose to let her go, of course, for being an untrustworthy, incapable driver – and then she’ll still owe them that money.
Unless, of course, she agrees to drop her suit – and quit working for them.
That seems fair. 🙂