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It's Time For Lincoln Towing To Answer for Its Sins, Alderman Says

By Josh McGhee | February 4, 2016 8:33am
 Ald. Ameya Pawar and Ald. Ariel Reboyras will ask Lincoln Towing to testify before the City Council.
Ald. Ameya Pawar and Ald. Ariel Reboyras will ask Lincoln Towing to testify before the City Council.
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UPTOWN — After decades of complaints from drivers, two aldermen said it's time for Lincoln Towing to finally face the music.

Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) said he's been working with Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th) to introduce a resolution at City Council on Wednesday asking Lincoln Towing "to testify on their towing practices and policies" and develop a "towing bill of rights" based on other major cities.

"Lincoln Towing has a responsibility as a Chicago business to appear before City Council and discuss decades of allegations," Pawar said, adding that the resolution will help "regulate tow companies at a local level. But the ultimate goal is developing the towing bill of rights for consumers."

The ordinance would also ask the Illinois Commerce Commission "to testify before City Council on tow truck regulations and enforcement."

My office will be introducing a resolution with Chairman Ariel Reboyras asking the ICC (tow truck regulator) to testify...

Posted by Alderman Ameya Pawar on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Days earlier, Basil Diab began a petition that garnered hundreds of signatures, asking Pawar to suspend Lincoln Towing's business license. Pawar hinted at a resolution Wednesday morning after hearing about the petition.

Pawar had been "planning on doing something since late last fall, but the budget took precedent," he said.

The petition, which received more than 1,900 signatures in about three days, references Lincoln Towing's "increasing allegations of illegal removal of the cars of private citizens from their own property, as well as from private properties" where they don't have authority to tow.

Diab said the effort from politicians raised his confidence in public officials.

"It's very encouraging to see the alderman responding so swiftly. This is a great example of our elected officials working for the residents of Chicago," he said.

Diab began the petition after a family claimed Lincoln Towing improperly towed their family car from a spot behind their apartment in the 4100 block of North California Avenue. The family argued the car had been parked in the spot since September.

Lincoln Towing returned the car Tuesday telling the car's owner in an email that the tow truck driver was "new to this type of towing and has been licensed for less than 1 year."

The towing company has been in hot water for nabbing a state child welfare worker's car from a lot near a police station while the worker was inside on business, among other offenses.

Pawar has been vocal about his disapproval of the towing company, which he has called a "bad operator" threatening to seize Lincoln Towing's yard at 4882 N. Clark St. for redevelopment.

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