New Haven man trashing city over citation

NEW HAVEN --  A New Haven ordinance regarding trash receptacles, has one city couple miffed after they were fined $500 for allegedly keeping their cans by the curb for too long.

A homeowner calls the citation he and his wife received unjust and he's calling the enforcement officer who issued the fine, a hypocrite.

Rashad Gibson said what he and his wife are dealing with now is complete garbage.

"On March 20, I received a note on my door that my trash cans were out, I guess, past the time of pick up," said Gibson.

New Haven requires trashcans be placed curbside no more than 12 hours before and removed 12 hours after pick up.

"So, on March 20, when I found the warning on my door, I came in, I brought them back into my backyard patio, then I thought that was it," Gibson said.

But, two weeks later, a $500 citation arrived for allegedly having the trash cans curbside for two days beyond the limit. The first date they were cited for was March 20, which is the date he said they received the warning.

"How am I going to be warned and fined on the same day? It makes no sense," he said.

Gibson reached out to public works, but received no response. Then, he saw a video that Honda Smith, the city’s public space enforcement officer, posted to her Facebook page.

"Sometimes my brother failed to bring my trash cans in and I tell him 'listen, I am the inspector. I fine. If I have to fine myself, you’re paying the $250,'" Smith said as part of a Facebook post on March 19.

That portion of the video is what bothered Gibson the most.

"How can you, with a clear conscience, fine somebody for the same thing that you were doing and there is no consequence," wondered Gibson.

Smith, who is out on medical leave, told FOX61, via email her office received a complaint from another resident. And that's why the Gibson's were warned.

Gibson said they will not pay the fine. The city said the ordinance is in place to make certain sidewalks are clear for strollers and handicap access. But, the Gibson's trash cans, and those of many other residents, do not sit on the sidewalk.