For drivers who don't want to commit to a new car purchase, leasing has become a popular option. But for a police department in a city with a struggling economy, running up a $65,000 bill for what amounts to renting an nine-year-old car seems like a bit of an oversight. That's just what the Detroit Police Department has been doing since 2003 when it leased a 2004 model Dodge Intrepid at the lofty price of $608 per month. The problem? They've been paying that price ever since.
The original terms of the lease stated that the car would be returned in 2005, at which point the department could choose to buy it outright to take delivery of a newer model. That trade-in never happened, and so far the city has handed out a total of over $56,000 in monthly payments. But that's not all: Because the department has gone well over the original mileage agreement, they owe nearly $10,000 in additional fees, bringing their total bill to well over $65,000. That's $65,000 for a car that could be bought new in 2003 for less than $25,000.
But that's just one vehicle, and the city is currently paying for over a hundred leased cars currently in use, and all of them are operating on expired leases. The seemingly careless spending could total several millions of dollars in the end, and the city apparently has no plans to reverse the practice.
The ridiculous waste of taxpayer money was discovered by local news station WXYZ, after they obtained the sales records through a Freedom of Information Act request. The station spoke with the president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, Joseph Duncan, who seemed just as outraged at the mismanagement as the taxpayers will be, stating "This is malfeasance. It makes no sense to me."
This article originally appeared on Tecca
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