ABC News Investigation Focuses on City of Poughkeepsie
Mayor Rob Rolison was interviewed on ABC News last night during an investigation into the City of Poughkeepsie.
ABC New York launched a 7 On Your Side Investigation after it received complaints about illegal towing in the City. Following up on a story that was originally investigated by Hudson Valley Post, the news team responded to complaints from citizens about illegal towing.
It turns out, the problem goes all the way to the top.
Hudson Valley Post first reported that CIty of Poughkeepsie residents have been complaining about what they characterized as predatory practices by a local towing company. Customers of the Main Street McDonald's accused Bobby's Auto Repair and Collision of illegally booting their vehicles and charging exorbitant fees to have their cars released. Bobby Scores, the owner of the towing service, told Hudson Valley Post that he was following the law and that the drivers were legally booted.
But it's not that simple.
After launching an investigation into the matter, ABC News found that the problem is more complicated than first thought. The City of Poughkeepsie has a law on the books that caps the amount private towing companies can charge for cars at $85. Residents say that Scores has been charging up to $250 per vehicle. The ordinance also says that tow trucks must wait 20 minutes before towing vehicles, another law that Scores admits to ignoring.
While all of this seems pretty cut and dry, the ABC investigation revealed that feet dragging by the City of Poughkeepsie has caused the towing situation to spiral out of control. Tow truck operators are supposed to be licensed by the City, but officials have ignored their own laws and failed to license drivers "for years."
For that reason, Scores isn't licensed and he says that makes him immune from the current laws. He also points to a loophole in the current ordinance that says makes it legal for him to tow cars without waiting 20 minutes.
Mayor Rob Rolison was interviewed by ABC News about the situation.
As a result of all the media attention the issue has received, Rolison says that he believes that the current ordinance needs to be updated. It's a problem the mayor says is "something we're going to fix."
What do you think about the current parking situation in the City of Poughkeepsie? Have you had your car towed? You can share your story on our Facebook page.