Friday, June 21, 2013

WRTV Reports That Towing Prices to Rise by 44% Under New Monopoly Towing Contract Awarded to San Francisco Company


Contrary to the reporting of the Indianapolis Star which suggested that towing prices would remain the same ($90) over the course of San Francisco-based AutoReturn's new five year contract, WRTV's Jack Rinehart has filed a story indicating there will be a dramatic increase in towing prices.  From his report:
Through the first year of the contract, the cost of redeeming a vehicle from the police impound lot will remain at $90.

In years two and three of the contract, the cost will jump to $110, and in the last two years of the contract, the cost will increase to $130.
The increase in the towing charge from $90 to $130, is a 44% jump in just three years time.

Probably the Star reporter simply repeated the City officials sales pitch that the towing prices would remain the same when in fact the City was misleadingly just referring to the FIRST year.  Rinehart either bothered to ask the follow up questions or actually reviewed the contract.  Regardless the score is: WRTV 1, Indianapolis Star 0.

As reported previously, AutoReturn is a lobbying client of Barnes & Thornburg.   Mayor Ballard's Chief of Staff Ryan Vaughn pushed the ordinance through that made the monopoly contract possible when he was President of the Indianapolis City-Council Council President.  He was at the time, you guessed it, an attorney for Barnes & Thornburg.   The Mayor's chief lobbyist and advisor is Joe Loftus, a Barnes & Thornburg partner.

But I'm sure this is all a coincidence, just like it was a coincidence that ACS, a Barnes & Thornburg lobbying client, won the 50 year parking meter contract, with Barnes & Thornburg attorney and ACS lobbyist Vaughn casting the tie breaking vote.  Certainly ACS and AutoReturn won their contracts on merit and the Barnes & Thornburg connection had nothing to do with their success.

See also:

Thursday, May 23, 2013, Politically-Connected Law Firm Wins Indianapolis Towing Contract for California Firm

Tuesday, May 28, 2013, City Panel Demands More Information on Towing Bids Before Approving Contract of California Towing Company


Downtown Indy said...

I have no plans to be parking downtown for anything. That stopped with the advent of aggressive predatory parking enforcement.

I was down there once after it went into effect and had a miserable time due to constant worrying about what time it was.

Cato said...

And people wonder why everyone hates going downtown.

Still, the thieves in the Council will continue to spend a disproportionate amount of the Budget in that one square mile.

Wanda said...

I too see the problem with all this. Ballard has gone wild in doing away with jobs that belong to companies here in Marion county. He once again has managed to outsource our jobs. I pray that those of you who voted for this man will see the light and do away with his unjust power

Flogger said...

We not only have Privatization we also monopolies to go along with it. I cannot think there would be one company in Private Industry that would sign off on a 50 year contract like the ACS Deal.

Brad said...

For Republicans "small government" means helping those in their small circle.