Detroit city council renews towing practices amid FBI investigation
The Detroit City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday aimed at protecting Detroit from predatory towing practices.
The vote comes amid an ongoing investigation by the FBI, called Operation Northern Hook, which focuses on the relationships between at least three council members and the towing industry.
Council members Scott Benson and Jenny Ayers, whose homes and offices were Raided by FBI agents On August 25 raised the decree In July, after questions were raised about its fairness to the towers. On Tuesday, Benson agreed to the procedure. Ayers was absent.
The law prohibits towers from requiring cash-only transactions, charging high fees, and refusing to release a vehicle when the owner appears before towing the vehicle. Towers must also receive a request from a public or private property owner to remove a vehicle, and they must notify the Detroit Police Department. All two contracts will now go through a public bidding process.
Mayor Mike Duggan, who has called for reforms in the towing industry, applauded the council’s 6-0 vote.
“The approval of this new ordinance is an important step in reforming the city’s troubled towing process and I appreciate the council president’s efforts [Brenda] Jones and the President [James] Dogan said in a statement Metro Times. “We will now move on to the next steps to ensure accountability and transparency in the towing procurement process.”
Council Member Andre Spivey resigned last month After becoming the first person to be convicted in an FBI investigation. He pleaded guilty to conspiring with an unknown employee to commit bribery. Spivey and the employee collected more than $35,000 in cash kickbacks from an undercover agent or informant on eight different occasions between 2018 and 2020, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.