Bloomberg Unleashes Team of Lawyers to Hunt Down Street Vendors

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Under investigation. Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/Getty Images

Law & Order: Special Kebab Unit is coming to a city block near you. Bloomberg has enlisted a seven-person team of lawyers to track down sidewalk food vendors who haven't paid their health-code fines. Cart owners are often charged for blocking the sidewalk, keeping food at illegal temperatures, and having bugs in their food (ew), but apparently, there's no follow-through. A recent report showed that out of $15.8 million fines levied in two years, $14.9 million went uncollected. But then there's also the problem of overticketing; in December, city officials had to reimburse street vendors because they had charged too much in fines. Now vendors are worried that the suits are going to crack down on minor violations like dirty lightbulbs. Law schools should start offering classes in hot-dog investigation; this is a mess. Someone call Ice-T. [Earlier, NYDN]