Monday, July 18, 2011

The Facts in Glodzik / Robbins Dispute

This is a listing of the facts in the dispute between Mark Robbins and tow truck businessman Leo Glodzik III. Robbins has accused Glodzik of charging exorbitantly high fees which violate Glodzik's contract with the City that mandates reasonable fees in accordance with industry standards.

Facts not in Dispute:
Glodzik charged Robbins a total of $200 for a tow.

Facts in Dispute.
Robbins quotes the contract between Glodzik and the city as stating "Contractor is permitted to charge its own fees... provided so long as the same are reasonable and according to the standards of the industry generally." Glodzik told the Times Leader that the charge of $175 for a base rate on a "rollback tow" is a "standard industry charge". (He did not mention what the remaining $25 of the $200 total was for.) More importantly, Glodzik made a rollback tow sound like some sort of special, expensive tow.

However, former city tow truck contractor Bob Kadluboski, owner of City Wide Towing, has implied that he charged $75 for such a tow when he held the city contract. We found a rate quote of $83 for a rollback tow from Ace Towing in North Carolina. It would be strange if the price in NC -$83 was over double what Glodzik charges -$175- in the Wyoming Valley. If these numbers are correct, then there is suspicion enough to warrant an investigation into Glodzik's records to make sure he is charging industry standard.

Problematic Enforcement
Robbins believes there is much more going on than predatory pricing and that the Wilkes-Barre police chief may be up to no good. This is significant because in the contract the police chief, Dessoye, has the power to demand an inspection of Glodzik's receipts*. If Dessoye and Glodzik are in cahoots, then nothing can be done about the alleged predatory pricing.

More Facts not in Dispute
Robbins passed a professionally administered and legally valid polygraph test, and his answers were deemed truthful by the tester. Here they are:
A) When you called Wilkes-Barre 911 on June 1st, did you report Leo Glodzik's threatening behavior?


B) On June 1, did a Wilkes-Barre police officer say to you "l don't give a fuck about your car”? (The cop leaning on the car in the police cruiser picture said this to me... classy, huh?)


C) On June 1st, when Wilkes-Barre police arrived on the scene after you called them, did officers speak to Leo Glodzik first before speaking with you? (3 separate instances... Leo Glodzik gets "extra special attention" from police... even in the face of a 911 call made against him.)


D) On June 1, did Leo Glodzik suggest that you lie to AAA by telling them your car had overheated? (Part of his "fraud proposition"...see Section IV)

Robbins' account seems to indicate that there may be some sort of connection between the police in general and Glodzik.

It seems fishy that only the police chief can demand to see Glodzik's receipts and that other city workers seem totally uninterested in them, with city official Drew McLaughlin telling a Citizen's Voice reporter that records are not necessary.

City attorney Bill Vinsko probably had some sort of say over the contract with Glodzik. Indeed, as of writing this article, Glodzik is friends on Facebook with Bill Vinsko who, according to the Citizen's Voice, "incorporated several businesses for Glodzik." Vinsko is friends with Leighton on Facebook, and Leighton has served as Glodzik's real estate broker.

It seems there is a deep rabbit hole involving Glodzik and property acquisitions. According to the Times Leader, County Commissioner Steve Urban has accused Leighton and his city workers of selling a property to Glodzik for $7,500 without advertising it and after paying $10,000 total for it.

A big deal has been made over the fact that Glodzik has donated $10,500 to Leighton’s campaigns since 2005; but he has been the city’s contracted tower for six years. Glodzik gave $2,500 to Leighton's state senate run, but it is important to note that Falzone's towing also gave this amount, as did Bill Sordoni of Sordoni construction, Albert Boscov, and the McCarthys of McCarthy Tire, so Glodzik's donation amounts are relatively normal among that crowd of businessmen.

Nevertheless, there are far too many coincidences and ties to quell legitimate suspicion. Robbins has made some stunning claims involving everything from possible FBI corruption to possible kickback schemes involving the towed vehicles, all of which are all viewable on his website.

Update 8-1
We neglected to mention that Glodzik pays Wilkes-Barre City $50,000 per year to maintain his city contract. City administrator Marie McCormick took offense at Robbins' criticism of this $50k payment as being a "kickback". But as Bob Kadluboski correctly replied: the fee is actually a tax on the people who have their cars towed, especially if Glodzik is able to get away with charging upwards of $200 per tow. Kadluboski went on to note that these sorts of payoffs, however contractual they may be, were outlawed in New York because of the perverse incentive they promote. Bidding on the contract should have been on the towing rates and not on a payment to the city government. But, understandably, the city wanted the money, and getting in such a round about way shifts discontentment that would otherwise be directed toward them toward Glodzik.
*Section 18 (f) of the city contract with L.A.G. says ”the Contractor shall provide to the chief of police an accurate and running log of all vehicles currently in storage; the tows made by the Contractor under this contract for the preceding month; and a copy of all inventories held. If requested, the Chief of Police is entitled to information pertaining to the amount of money collected under this or pursuant to this contract… and other information that the Administration or the Chief of Police find relevant to maintaining the integrity of the city.

More Info
"City tower’s conduct blasted"

"Critical remarks target Wilkes-Barre's towing operator"

"W-B tower denies driver’s claims"

"Wilkes-Barre Towing Contract Not Enforced"

Mark Robbins' Website Detailing the alleged "Cars for Cash Scheme"

"Judge re-opens Old River Road Bakery lawsuit"

"W-B’s sale of house criticized"

No comments:

Post a Comment