Cook County judge allows Lincoln Towing to resume operations

SHARE Cook County judge allows Lincoln Towing to resume operations

A man swings a plastic bag over his shoulder while walking past Lincoln Towing Service on North Clark in Chicago. | Sun-Times file photo

A Cook County judge granted Lincoln Towing a temporary reprieve Monday, allowing the controversial North Side towing company to continue operating as it fights a state commission’s decision to pull its license.

Cook County Judge Neil Cohen ruled that Lincoln Towing may resume towing vehicles immediately, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission.

However, Cohen ordered the company to post a $100,000 bond by Tuesday afternoon, the Tribune reported.

“Although we are we disappointed that the court is allowing Lincoln Towing to resume operations, we are encouraged that the court saw fit to place stringent conditions on Lincoln Towing that will remain in place during the pendency of the court proceeding,” the Illinois Commerce Commission said in a statement Monday.

“The Commission stands by its finding that Lincoln Towing has not conducted its business with honesty and integrity, and its ruling that the company is unworthy to hold a Commercial Vehicle Relocators License.”

On Thursday, Lincoln Towing filed a complaint in Cook County Circuit Court arguing that the state commerce commission’s swift revocation of its towing license is “unenforceable,” spells an “imminent and dangerous” disruption to business and will cause harm to the public.

The lawsuit came a day after the Illinois Commerce Commission yanked Lincoln Towing’s license in a unanimous vote, closing the curtain on a company that’s been a nemesis of Chicago drivers for decades.

But the company believes the revocation, effective immediately, would wreak havoc on the city, according to the lawsuit. It seeks to halt the ICC decision pending the commission’s appeals process or a court ruling.

The lawsuit alleges owners of parking lots contracted with Lincoln Towing — over 10,000 — will be stuck with unauthorized vehicles that park there. The result, the suit says, would be “actual, physical violence.”

“Media reports have published articles about the order, sparking chaos throughout the city,” the suit says. “As a result, motorists now believe they can park in any lot in Lakeview … and lot owners would have absolutely no recourse.”

ICC’s Wednesday decision came on the heels of a two-year investigation that included 462 allegations of unauthorized tows in an eight-month period.

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