This archived article was written by: Angela Oliver / Zak Konakis
Vicki Mortenson, a College of Eastern Utah graduate, ran her electric cart through a glass door at the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center on October 6 after talking to Bill Osborn, assistant dean of students, about a parking ticket she received. The $25 parking ticket has now turned into over $2,500 in fines for damages and a possible third-degree felony for criminal mischief, threats against life or property and disorderly conduct.
On Nov. 1 Mortenson parked her car in the parking lot by the Old Student Activities Center. She parked in a handicapped spot near the west end of the lot. Her car was parked across the sidewalk with her tires on the lawn, and the trailer being pulled behind her vehicle was blocking another handicapped parking stall. Mortenson’s handicapped plates were expired, and multiple citations could have been issued, but she was given the minimum ticket for blocking the sidewalk.
Mortenson did not agree with the ticket and made an appointment with Osborn who is the hearing officer for parking tickets. When she met with Osborn to attest the ticket she did not agree with his ruling and upon leaving his office she went to Brad Watson, the director of Student Support Services, and made multiple complaints to him.
Upon leaving Watson’s office, she left using the elevator. After exiting the elevator, she traveled north through the hallway past the bookstore. She then ran her electric cart into the glass door. Her cart hit the door with enough speed to knock it off its hinges and blow the glass out of the door. Glass was projected up to 30 feet away from the building. Mortenson paused momentarily to kick the glass from under her feet and then exited out the door and around the corner heading south down the sidewalk in front of the JLSC.
A lady came out of the bookstore to see what had happened while a male individual chased the woman down the sidewalk and returned with the woman’s backpack. Mortenson returned to the JLSC yelling, “I am not in the mood to deal with this right now, and I’ll return later” and ” I am going to return, I am not done with this school and I’ll be back to do more,” she then left down the sidewalk. As CEU Officer James Prettyman was arriving at the scene, he noticed her “speeding down the sidewalk. I’m familiar with this person, I’ve dealt with her for six years.”
She went to her vehicle and loaded her cart into the trailer behind her car, and left. When she returned later, it was explained to her the likely consequences for her actions, but the actual consequence will be decided later by the Carbon County Attorney, Gene Strait. It has been decided however, that there will be full restitution in this case.
To prevent further situations like this, it is necessary that everyone parking on the CEU campus abide by all laws and follow instructions on posted signs like the one posted in cosmetology parking, that says you need to obtain a permit to park there. When a parking ticket is received it must be paid at the cashier’s office in the JLSC within 7 days to avoid an extra fine. If one would like to contest a parking ticket, they may schedule a meeting with Osborn, but they must do that within the 7 days, and he must be spoken to in person.
Prettyman stated, “this is the fairest policy I have ever seen when it comes to colleges. This policy makes it so that faculty and staff have no advantage over students. Students do, and should come first,” but “you have to give the process a chance to work.”