It didn't matter to one London parking enforcement officer that some think Hillary Clinton could be a future American president -- illegal parking is illegal parking.
So despite protests from Clinton's security detail, the undeterred traffic warden (as they're called across the pond) slapped Clinton's silver Mercedes Benz sedan with the equivalent of a $127.00 ticket on Friday while the former secretary of state was being honored for her diplomatic work.
All her minders had to do as they waited outside Chatham House was go buy a parking pass for a measly £3.30 per hour (about US $5.27).
A report posted on Tuesday on the website of London's Daily Mail shows photos of what it called the "extraordinary moment" Clinton’s car was slapped with the citation, roughly 45 minutes after arriving. What followed was an animated conversation between members of her security detail and the parking attendant, who calmly maintained a look of “Hillary who?” throughout, reported the paper.
Clearly, this was not his first time dealing with a less-than-pleased parking ticket recipient.
Greg Brennan, the photographer who witnessed the scene, also reported that at least one of Clinton’s security agents was seen “angrily waving his arms” and showing the attendant his badge.
Still, the fine was issued.
“Despite our traffic marshal being questioned by the secret service for just doing his job, he was in the right,” Councillor Daniel Astaire, the local city council member for business, told the The Daily Mail. “The former US Secretary of State was parked for nearly 45 minutes without paying. I’m sure she will understand that we have to be fair to everyone, regardless of their status on the world stage.”
While the confrontation played out in the parking lot, Clinton was busy chatting with other dignitaries about the U.S.’s relationship with Iran and the ongoing conflict in Syria as she was honored with the Chatham House Prize.
If you're wondering why this seems to have risen to international incident, it's likely because the U.S. tops Britain's list of parking scofflaws.
The Mail reports that foreign embassies in London have tallied up the equivalent of $112 million in unpaid fines over 10 years, with the U.S. accounting for $12 million of that.