Friday, February 20, 2009

Towing & Vehicle Storage Companies Thrive on Motorists in Texas

The past week has been filled with criminal activity among towing companies, wrecker drivers, vehicle storage facility employees and parking facility owners or agents, that several state and federal agencies have opened investigations.

Milstead Automotive Ltd was notified in writing by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations that both of his companies are under investigation, for violating the rules and regulations, that his daughter, Amy Millstead Ellzey, advises the very agency that is investigating them. (Investigation No. VSF2009-006-0996, TOW2009-006-0996)

In Killeen, Action Towing & Recovery, is under investigation, for towing vehicles from an apartment complex without probable cause, registered to "wounded Fort Hood soldiers returning from Iraq, not to mentioned several government owned vehicles. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Texas Attorney General, Texas State Comptroller, Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations and Texas Rangers are all involved in a joint investigation in the matter.

In Austin, several member companies of the Austin Towing Association, have been cited by the Austin Police Department Wrecker Enforcement Detectives for violating State Law and the City Ordinance that regulate the fees, that were charged when not allowed.

Central Towing of Austin is once again back to their old games of screwing the public, the Texas Attorney General is still after the owners, Don and Cathy Creamer for deceptive business practices among other issues, from the early 80's when they were operating under "A Better Wrecker Service".

The San Antonio Police Department is having major problems trying to get Assured Towing and other towing companies to comply with the rules they agreed to follow after being awarded a tow zone for traffic accidents.

This criminal activity surrounding private property impounds (PPI) will never cease to exist as long as law enforcement refuses to step up to the plate and enforce the State Law.

The public must file a complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations if your vehicle is taken without your permission and forced to pay a ransom to retrieve it.

The bright side of these continuing criminal illegal towing incidents, more victims after finding Texas Towing Compliance, won their probable cause hearing before a Judge.

Knowing your rights is key to taking down criminal organizations that prey on your pocketbook.

Friday, February 13, 2009

TDLR Enforcement Investigators Making a Difference

I am very pleased with the progress by TDLR Enforcement Investigators, especially, in the Dallas Fort Worth regions after a recent conversation with Cory Trip.

The Dallas-Fort Worth region has been a haven for towing companies, vehicle storage facilities and employees of both, engaging in organized criminal activity on a daily basis, while law enforcement refuses to acknowledge criminal offenses are occurring.

Things are changing, as Investigator Trip told me he ordered a Vehicle Storage Facility in Dallas to release at no charge, three tractor trailers, that were driven to the storage facility instead of towing, after viewing the three tractors equipped with
a Qualcomm satellite system.

For once in a very longtime, the consumers have a state agency geared at tackling the chronic problems within the Towing and Vehicle Storage Facility Industry.

No more does it matter if a Judge is corrupted by towing company money, who continue to rule in favor of these criminal enterprises, instead of upholding the Texas Towing Law, because TDLR is conducting it's own investigation and issuing fines for violating the Law.

We have a ways to go, as the the Legislature must step up to the plate and pass legislation regarding criminal histories that automatically disqualify applicants for any Occupation License.

As long as Administrative Judges continue their crusade of forcing TDLR to issue Occupation Licenses to career criminals bent on bringing harm to our citizens, the public faces great risk for bodily harm and financial loss.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Commissioners must remain strong and not allow personal friendships to blind their decisions, when it becomes necessary to remove Advisory Board appointees, who are found to be violating State Law, as in the case with Amy Milstead Ellzey and Joann Messina.

More and more law enforcement agencies are contacting the Austin Police Department Wrecker Enforcement Unit to gain the knowledge on how they can address criminal illegal towing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Milstead Found Guilty for Violating State Law

The verdict has been issued in illegal towing incident involving Milstead Automotive, Milstead Vehicle Storage and the Flying J Travel Center in Houston, Texas. A brave Montgomery County Justice of Peace ruled that the above parties did not have "probable cause" to tow John Eakins' tractor trailer.

This ruling proves that no matter one's wealth and reputation in their community, can knowingly violate State Law and get away with it.

I was unable to attend the Texas Towing and Storage Advisory Board meeting this morning, because my mother's funeral was more important.

Amy Milstead Ellzey should be ashamed of herself for allowing her family's towing company to engage in criminal conduct as with this case!

With this ruling, Montgomery County Justice Court, Precinct Three, Cause Number 3608A, Mr. Eakins should pursue filing criminal charges against the Milstead wrecker operator that towed his truck and the Milstead Vehicle Storage employee who charged unauthorized fees.

This criminal act by Milstead, is how unscrupulous towing companies statewide thrive.

The attorney representing the Milstead clan, Jonathan Bruce, of Houston is fine man, as I know him personally, as he has represented towing companies I had managed in the past in deregulation issues. I kinda feel bad for Mr Bruce with the Dick Milstead outright lying in Court putting him on the spot.

Next step for Mr Eakins is to file a Justice Court Case in Harris County against Milstead and Flying J for the statutory violations and recover triple damages. Considering Milstead charged him $1800 twice in this incident, no different than the other 21 tractor trailer owner or operator from the the Flying J Travel Center, Mr Eakins triple damages for knowingly violated State Law by Milstead, is $5400, plus his attorney fees.

These specific actions of Milstead have exposed their corporation to a "Deceptive Trade Practices" litigation by every victim towed from a private parking facility.

On to greener pastures, as I will do everything in my power to have Amy Milstead-Ellzey removed from the TDLR Advisory Board, Texas deserves better.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Conflict of Interest

After speaking with both law enforcement representatives that were appointed to the Texas Towing and Storage Advisory Board, that advises the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation, both agree that a conflict of interest exist between two other board members.

A business or individual that holds a license through this agency is required to obey State Law. There can be no preferential treatment for any license holder, board member or commissioner that violates State Law, period.

There are no valid excuses for violating the vehicle storage facility regulations or rules since this law has been in effect for over 10 years.

The conduct of Milstead Automotive Ltd regarding the charging of two towing fees when only one tow truck was used to tow the truck and trailer is illegal. Those companies that charge consumers unauthorized towing charges when the truck and trailer is burglarized, then driven to the storage facility and charged two towing fees, should have their license revoked, in addition to be arrested.

The current makeup the Advisory Board does not represent the many towing companies who obey the law, and find it insulting their interest is in the hands of two board members that blalantly violate the State Law on a regular basis.

It would be in the best interest of the Towing Industry if Amy Millstead-Ellzey and Joann Messina would resign from their position on the Advisory Board, because quite frankly integrity is something neither seem to have, based for current investigations by TDLR and law enforcement.