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Monday, February 02, 2009

To Oregon's predatory patrol towers: The end is near!

By Sean Cruz

Portland—There will be rejoicing in the land when and if the 2009 Oregon legislature passes Representative Chuck Riley’s patrol towing reform bills.

As reported by The Oregonian’s Rick Bella, Representative Riley will finish the job begun in 2007 by Senator Avel Gordly (SB 431) and Attorney General Hardy Myers (SB116). See story, here:

The City of Fairview is the first Oregon municipality to act on the authority to ban patrol towing granted to all Oregon cities as a result of the 2007 legislation.

Contact your City Council, urging them to ban patrol towing in your town.

Representative Riley’s draft legislation addresses the commission-based foundation of Retriever Towing’s business model, the root cause of most patrol towing abuses, and the predators are already starting to howl.

Mr. Bella notes that the patrol towing reforms will be opposed by commercial property interests as well as by the towers themselves, the sole opposition to the 2007 bills, which passed both House and Senate on unanimous votes.

It was pressure from the commercial property interests that prevented the passage of the complete ban on patrol towing in Oregon that Senator Gordly sought in 2007, for there are big dollars at stake, and they will be back in 2009.

Retriever’s and Sergeant’s contracts with commercial property owners and managers, deferring on-the-spot decision making to drivers working on commission, is the other part of the predatory patrol towing problem.

In exchange for this authority, Sergeant’s and Retriever provide their “services” to the owners and managers for free, getting 100% of their revenue from their fleets of towjacking thugs.

The commercial property owners demand the service, and they demand it for free. They will carry that argument to the 2009 legislature, and future campaign contributions from this powerful lobby will hinge on how the votes come down.

Representative Riley gave notice during the 2007 House Consumer Protection Committee hearings that if the industry did not shape up before the 2009 session, he would take them on and seek a ban on the practice, and he is delivering on that promise.

The general public still has a role to play in this argument.

Contact your legislators and Representative Riley and voice your support, here:

Stay informed on the issue. If you are able to attend any hearings, do so. Your legislators will be happy to help orient you around the Capitol.

If you are wrongfully patrol-towed, the Attorney General’s office is waiting to hear from you, ready to hear your complaint. 2007’s Senate Bill 116 and 431 empowered the AG to promulgate and enforce involuntary towing regulations on its own authority.

Register your complaint here:

The Attorney General now has the statutory authority to promulgate and enforce regulations regarding involuntary towing, including the price thereof. Many predatory patrol towing practices are now subject to civil sanctions, including prosecution under Unfair Trade Practices statutes.


Sean Cruz writes:

Blogolitical Sean, political commentary here:

Aaron’s Law, regarding child abduction prevention and resolution here:

Jim Pepper House, dedicated to the legacy of the late, great Jim Pepper here:

Portland’s #1 Predatory Towing Horror Story, regarding predatory patrol towing practices here:

Chicano Hero Cesar Chavez, dedicated to the Mexican-American giant, here.


Anonymous said...

This could be the best thing to happen to Oregon in a long, long time. It's way overdue. Patrol towing is a jackpot for scumbags and it's time to shut it down.

towmater said...

Hey sean I was talking with a former coworker of mine (about your blog)and he reminded me of a few years back when Ron Saxton was running for the office of Governor in 2006. Just shortly befor the vote Gary Coe stapled a note to every employee's pay check telling us to vote for Ron Saxton. As I look back on it in my mind it really looked like a threat by attaching that note to the pay check. I know this story is useless to you, but it gives you a measure of the man.

Let me tell you working for Mr. Coe is sometimes like working for the MOB.

One other thing Sean. I've read several local news interviews where Gary Coe is trying to defend his commission pay for drivers by claiming that he pay's all his employee's on commission. It's a lie (even if he's ONLY talking about his Retriever employee's). The driver's are the only one's on commission and they get a bonus if they meet the companies quota for cars towed in a month as extra incentive. The dispatchers are paid hourly, the manager's are paid salary and have an end of year bonus if they do well and some of the higher up management get a small percentage of the company, the yard workers at the impound lot are paid an hourly minimum wage.

Lastly, here's some of Gary's tricks. Often times Gary Coe tries to present Dave Riechert as the President of Speed's Supertow but Dave only own's 14% and isn't really in control of anything, he's just a fire wall to protect Gary. He has similar set up's with his son Michael Coe at Private Parking Auditors and Jim Walsh at Fleet Sales West, and Donna Coe with Coe Consulting Group, etc. that way at first glance you wouldn't know he's in control of so much and it doesn't appear that there is any conflict of interests. Also, if you were to look at the retriever web site you would see a link marked "Customer Comments" all the comments are writen by Gary and his Management. They used their first names only. Also it's not uncommon for the management to try to do damage control by logging onto different news web sites and put positive comments or misinformation in the comment section of a bad story about them or attack people that complain on those sites.

Keep doing what your doing Sean it's having an effect. I'll keep my eye's and ear's open for you in the belly of the beast.

towmater said...

I wrote this for your buddy over at the towingutopia blog I think it illustrates just how much extra money they (the towing empires of Portland) have to throw around.

Towmater said...
Gary Coe (of retriever towing/speed's supertow) has a great classic custom car fetish himself.


Several of his car's are stored in his indoor impound lot's. He also has a private inclosed flatbed tow truck to haul his beutiful cars to custom car show's. Let me know if you want pictures or information.

The average joe can rest easy knowing all that money charged to the public for return of their cars goes to a good cause.

The owner of sergeants towing in Portland Oregon owns a collection of military vehicles wich includes a fully functional tank. See link below for pictures including them using the tank to crush impounded cars.


January 9, 2009 12:45 AM