NY1 VIDEO: As NY1 News revisits its 20-year history, the station looks back at reporter Jeanine Ramirez's April 1, 1997 story about a heated battle over unpaid parking tickets racked up by UN diplomats.
NY1 FOLLOW-UP: The uproar over the new rules would end with a compromise later that same month. It called for the State Department to deny new plates or renewals for consulates with unpaid tickets. But the issue would continue for years.
In 2002, the Bloomberg administration - after threatening to begin towing diplomats' cars - convinced the State Department to revoke the plates of violators who did not pay up.
According to the city finance department, today there are nearly $17 million in unpaid fines, though the majority of that - nearly $16 million - came before the 2002 agreement.