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WGN Investigates

CHICAGO — A scorching investigation by Illinois Commerce Commission staff has determined one of Chicago’s most infamous towing companies should lose its license.

ICC investigators concluded Lincoln Towing conducted 462 unauthorized tows in a seven month period they examined.

“Lincoln’s pattern and practice of conducting unauthorized relocations harms the public and demonstrates that Lincoln is incompetent and unworthy to hold a relocator’s license,” ICC staff concluded.

Lincoln Towing’s tactics have been the subject of complaints for decades.  Folk singer Steve Goodman recorded a song in 1972 referring to the towing outfit as the “Lincoln Park Pirates.”  At various times politicians have promised to shut the company down. After WGN Investigates reported the towing firm’s more recent troubles in January 2017, the ICC investigation intensified.  Dozens of hearings took place as investigators and a lawyer for Lincoln Towing traded accusations.

“If I explained to you how many tows a year and how few violations we have, it’s like .0003 percent of 1 percent,” Lincoln lawyer Allen Perl told WGN in 2017. “Literally every 500 cars is a violation. That’s a pretty good record.”

Observers believe this is the first time ICC staff has recommended pulling a towing operator’s license in this manner. Lincoln Towing’s attorney vowed to continue fighting to preserve Lincoln’s license.

An administrative law judge will ultimately decide Lincoln’s fate with an official decision expected before the end of the summer.

To read the ICC staff’s recommendation visit the following link.