Friday, October 25, 2013

Austin Tow Company Owners Are Frustrated With Zero Enforcement of Towing Laws by APD

Exerts from an email to APD Detective Loosier with the Austin Police Department Wrecker Enforcement Unit sent October 22, 2013:

Yesterday during our brief telephone conversation, you stated that "you" could not prove the parking facility accepted something of value from the towing company.  I find that hard to believe, since we, our attorneys and many victims have taped confessions of property managers and owners accepting something of value and JPs across the state are finding them guilty during Statutory Hearings for committing statutory violations, all of which carry a criminal penalty.
Many of the cases in Austin that you said there was no violation, the Court found them guilty during the Statutory Violation hearing before a Judge based on what the law states, so which is it?
Why has the wrecker enforcement unit repeatedly allowed certain towing companies to engage in organized criminal activity with zero interference from law enforcement, the same criminal behavior other law enforcement agencies investigate and file criminal charges against "all" involved?

Case in point, the signs posted by Alberts towing from 32nd and Red River fail to contain statutory text and for some reason neither of you have cited the parking facility or the towing company and this has is going on for 4 years, that's right 4 years, APD has allowed this to continue, unabated.
2 Statutory Violations: 2308.302(b), 2308.301(b)(5)(B)

1 Statutory Violation: 2308.302(b)
These three statutory violations are criminal offenses as well and every vehicle towed from this parking lot was illegally towed because of noncompliant towing sign posted.

Why have you and Ballard allowed towing companies to engage in organized criminal activity with zero intervention to stop it. The WEU has gone downhill since the days Ken Cannaday was the LT and Donald Baker was the Commander. 

Towing companies who obey the law are suffering and losing business because other towing companies are successfully bribing parking facility owner/managers that you claim not to be able to prove.

I know you cannot explain why Southside Wrecker gets more Rotation Request calls than anybody else, especially drivers who never been to Austin before.  I know as well as others, APD officers at collision scenes are soliciting business for Southside just by mentioning their name to drivers, instead of putting it out for rotation.

Like I told you yesterday, it's that CULTURE that has developed within APD for more than 50 years and it's all linked to the owners of Southside Wrecker who are current and former APD police officers.  Like I said, many towing company owners are being forced out of business by organized crime because APD WEU refuses to get involved for whatever reason.

When will it stop?  

Many believe the problem lies with Sgt Cummings.  It's evident under Cummings' leadership, the number of criminal charges filed for the criminal penalty of the towing law or "stings" has severely dwindled.

Many believe Lt Frank Rodriguez would better serve the citizens of Austin leaving no stone left unturned to stop the ongoing criminal behavior of tow truck companies, tow truck drivers and parking facility owners/managers.

Even the Wrecker Ordinance is outdated to deal with the predatory private property towing issues now, the bill of rights required by city ordinance has still not been updated to conform with the Texas Towing Law amendments, that would benefit victims of illegal towing greatly.

Property managers and owners across Austin have come to believe accepting bribes from towing and booting companies are allowed since APD has never enforced Law in 20 years.

Sec. 2308.401. Parking Facility Owner Prohibited from Receiving Financial Gain from Towing Company or Booting Company.

(a) A parking facility owner may not directly or indirectly accept anything of value from:
(1) a towing company in connection with the removal of a vehicle from a parking facility; or
(2) a booting company in connection with booting a vehicle in a parking facility.

Sec. 2308.405. Criminal Penalty.

A person commits an offense if the person violates this chapter. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,500 unless it is shown on trial of the offense that the person knowingly or intentionally violated this chapter, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

Austin residents, their guest, businesses and tourists are under assault and the key players in these predatory towing companies (criminal enterprises) know, based on their influence with the APD culture, nothing will ever be done.

Mr. Charles Johnson, general counsel with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation over the towing program, has told the towing industry, based on State Law, they can only do two things for a parking facility; (1) provide the "towing sign" and (2) do the towing

Because APD has allowed things to get so far out of hand with the public being taken advantage of because of bribery and outright stealing within the local scene tow companies, many respected towing company owners are considering selling out, to keep from losing everything.

Makes many wonder if the now famous video of Park Right Solutions owner admitting to bribing police officers, committing workers comp fraud and cheating wage and hour employees hold some merit.

I thought with the hiring of Acevedo as Police Chief, change would occur, but that APD culture has prevented it from happening.