LP tow services remain status quo

Since it was my day off yesterday, reporter Bethania Palma attended the La Puente City Council meeting last night. The most interesting thing on the agenda was Councilman John Solis’ item about a tow services agreement. Judging from Palma’s web update below, it seems Solis may have been considering going with another tow company for impound services.

Unfortunately for Solis, the majority of his colleagues on the dias didn’t think that was such a good idea, especially considering the ongoing investigation into former Industry traffic Sgt. Joe Dyer for allegedly stealing $500,000 in tow revenues from city coffers.

And still no word back from Solis – going on three weeks now without a call back from the councilman.

LA PUENTE – City officials Tuesday night chose to forego further discussion of the city’s current tow contract and stay with what they have – for now.

City Councilman John Solis had requested discussion on the city’s towing services, but the council decided 3-2 not to take any further steps on the matter.

The city relies on the Sheriff’s Department, which in turn contracts with Haddick’s Towing for impound services.

Solis’ request came just two weeks after city and sheriff’s department officials confirmed an ongoing investigation into whether a Industry Station deputy embezzled $500,000 in towing fees from city coffers.

Councilman Dan Holloway made the motion to leave the city’s towing arrangement as is, with Councilwoman Nadia Mendoza and Mayor Louie Lujan agreeing.

Solis and Councilwoman Lola Storing voted against the motion.

Solis had asked to “pass it on to the city attorney and city manager to see what can be done to bring it back to us.”

Holloway said he was concerned about discussing the city’s tow services in light of the investigation into former traffic Sgt. Joe Dyer.

Dyer retired in May, about a day and a half after he was placed on paid leave by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

Sheriff Lee Baca has said he expects to submit a criminal case against Dyer to the District Attorney by the end of the year.

Solis made a request in August 2007 to solicit bids for an exclusive tow franchise agreement, which also failed to garner sufficient support from the City Council.
Bob’s Towing representatives were in attendance Tuesday night to plead their case.

“We’re here today because the city of La Puente is leaving $60,000 of free money,” said Wayne Blake, a Bob’s Towing employee. “We don’t understand why.”

Last year, city officials received an unsolicited bid from Bob’s Towing for a five-year, $300,000 contract.

Solis did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.