Saturday, December 27, 2008

Towing Scandal Bubbling Beneath The Surface In Lowell, Massachusetts Photo

A recent story in the Lowell Sun Online starts out as a routine and dry report on the renewal of certain towing contracts. Ah, yes, a bread-and-butter city hall story. Nothing too exciting here. Many readers will never finish the story, because they will move on to something more compelling like...crotch-grabbing former state senators, cruising the park benches of Lowell.

But then, midway through, the tone abruptly changes...

Certain juicy facts start getting aired. Here are the spicy nuggets I managed to pick out from a story which was very tightly packed with facts:

* Last year, a towing company called "Gulbicki's, Inc." performed poorly, and was fired. Some of the "poor performance" included not responding to calls. What's the deal with THAT? The calls weren't LUCRATIVE enough?

* Towing companies are trying to gain political power in Lowell, Massachusetts, as evidenced by the fact Alan Kazanjian--the owner of Kazanjian's Garage, which does towing--was recently elected to the city council.

* The towing companies bid for contracts with the city based on how much they are willing to pay the city PER TOW. So, clearly, these companies have a strong incentive to tow, tow, tow. Is there any concern for the public on the Lowell City Council?

* Christopher's Towing of Chelmsford was eliminated from the bidding because the owner, Christopher Ferreira, was convicted of indecent sexual assault and battery. Ferreira blames it all on his lying ex-girlfriend. No, I'm not making that up.

* In 2005, 6 of 7 towing companies bid less than $1.50 on the tows. The Inspector General issued a report accusing the towing firms of "illegally colluding" on bids. Guess who was one of the companies? Kazanjian's Garage!

All in all, one gets the feeling there is a lot of scandal bubbling beneath the surface in Lowell, Massachusetts and I hope the reporter who wrote this article, Jennifer Myers, gets an opportunity to dig into it further. One gets the sense Lowell, Massachusetts may have the same towing scandal potential as Springfield, Massachusetts. (Click here for an example)

No comments: