Toll Agency Says Good Christian Bitches Author Kim Gatlin Owes Them $16,000
As promised, the North Texas Tollway Authority published a list of all drivers with 100 or more unpaid tolls, and it's a long one. Some 25,000-plus people owe the agency a total of $12.5 million.
NTTA is billing the posting as a convenient resource for drivers to check and see if they owe any money and if a civil lawsuit might be coming their way. Take Amber Young. I'm sure she had no idea that she had made 8,366 trips down the tollway without paying and owes $179,596.43. One thing the list absolutely is not, the agency swears, is an attempt to publicly shame Young and her fellow scofflaws.
Maybe, maybe not. Doesn't really matter, because Unfair Park will pick up the slack. Public shame is our bread and butter. So, while those nice big numbers mentioned above are interesting and all, we wanted to know one thing: Which local luminaries are too important/douchey to pay their tolls like the rest of us?
I spot checked a few names as they came to mind -- Mike Rawlings, Jerry Jones, John Wiley Price -- but I got nothing, and I quickly realized it would take me hours to search for every famous person in Dallas. So instead I just plugged in the Park Cities ZIP code, figuring that's where I'd find the most egregious violators. It didn't take long to stumble across the name of Kim Gatlin, author of Good Christian Bitches and godmother of the short-lived TV series GCB.
Maybe she was distraught over the cancellation of the show and the slow ebb of her fame and could cope with the sorrow only by hitting the open road. And maybe, on 1,378 occasions, she mistook the Dallas North Tollway for said open road and maybe just forgot she owed $16,123.39 in tolls and fees. But that was mere speculation.
"I had no idea," she told me when I gave her the figures yesterday over the phone. She had returned my message only a few minutes after I left it and said she was already on her way to NTTA's headquarters to figure out what had happened. "I would have never expected to see my name in something like this."
About two years ago, Gatlin sold her white Lexus SUV to a friend, keeping the registration in her name while the friend paid in installments. And, as Gatlin said she realized yesterday, she had also left her toll tag in the car, never expecting that the friend would take the tollway so often.
"When I get something from NTTA, I would just give it to them," she said.
Gatlin called back after her visit to the NTTA headquarters and said she plans to file a vehicle transfer that, she was told, can be made retroactive and will transfer the debt to the friend. She felt bad about it, but $16,000 is a bit ridiculous.
She promised to pass along a copy of the transfer once it's filed.