A Houston towing company is accused of various state violations, but a city SAFEClear official insist there's more to the story.
Pat Johnson, founder of watchdog group Texas Towing Compliance, recently blogged that Fast Tow Wrecker Service faces possible fines and suspended license by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation due to violations ranging from failure to lock vehicles, improper signage and drug test inadequacies.
Johnson writes “It amazes me how a towing company is overtaken by greed instead of integrity, knowing what they were doing was illegal.”
Fast Tow President Jeanette Rash referred all questions to Houston SAFEClear, adding she is aware of Mr. Johnson and his ongoing criticism of Texas' towing industry.
SAFEClear's Ken Ulmer defends the company saying you have to read between the lines, this is why Fast Tow requested a hearing.
“The complaint is not saying they didn't have a random drug test done, its not saying they didn't have a drug test,” Ulmer tells KTRH News. “Its just saying they didn't have a yearly drug test, so that could be off by a day.”
Ulmer says Fast Tow was the victim of ticky-tack violations by the TDLR.
“Like the one for leaving the car unlocked,” he says. “It was a Jeep that doesn't have a top, so how do you lock the Jeep?”
Ulmer says state inspectors have admitted they have too many rules for the tow and vehicle storage business.
“They have actually pulled out a considerable number of rules and said these are not relevant to what we're trying to do and have no bearing on whether they are good operators or not,” he says.
“Literally, 'VSF' for Vehicle Storage Facility being abbreviated could be a violation,” says Ulmer. “Those are the types of rules they've done away with.”
Susan Stanford, public information officer with TDLR, responded to KTRH News via email saying “TDLR’s policy is to not comment on pending litigation. The case is set for hearing June 25th.”