The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Chicago:
A quick tow and there goes your car

Dec 6, 2004

Another scandal is brewing in Chicago involving the towing of cars. A person who accumulates three parking tickets can find his car towed, but not by the city of Chicago. A private company has a contract to tow cars for the city and it's a very lucrative contract.

In order to get your car back, you have to pay $250 plus fines. $120 of this goes to the towing company. But here's the real racket: if a car owner fails to bail out his car in 15 days, the towing company can sell the car. The owner gets nothing and the city and the towing company split a big payoff.

And who has this lucrative contract? Why, none other than United Road Services, a politically connected company which gives generously to Mayor Daley's political fund.