Over the past eight months, the Post-Dispatch has revealed controversial ties between the police department and St. Louis Metropolitan Towing: perks given to the police chief’s daughter, questionable tactics used to gouge vehicle owners and hundreds of thousands of dollars the company kept from taxpayers.
But the relationship proved most lucrative during one day each year: Mardi Gras’ major parade day.
That was from the article in the Post Dispatch about the apparently many-layered scheme that originated from recently ousted Police Chief Joe “I keep looking dirtier every day” Mokwa.
The scheme was this:
- Crooked Cop Trevor and his buddies marked countless cars, including many that had not committed any violation at all, for towing.
- Towing would be taken care of by the very connected towing company Metropolitan Towing.
- Crooked Cop Trevor would also make sure to make 80% of the tickets “private” (76% more than the average cop) so the towing company would get to keep all the money for the fine.
- Metropolitan Towing made even more money by just flat out not paying the city their cut of the fines on even the few tickets that weren’t marked as private.
- Police Chief Mokwa didn’t care.
Seems like with that amount of planning and cooperation focused on the right goals we wouldn’t keep seeing our fair city’s name popping up on “Holy Shit Don’t Ever Go There!” lists.
Here’s the good news though:
In the wake of a broader federal investigation into towing practices, city police stopped using Metropolitan, and the new chief has dropped the off-duty Mardi Gras detail.
Now only on-duty officers will call for tows at next weekend’s annual parade, and they’ll exclusively use the city’s publicly run towing agency — two things the previous police administration didn’t offer when festival planners approached them 2 1⁄2 years ago for help.
Glad to see things are looking up…just to be safe though I’d carpool this weekend with someone you don’t like or that doesn’t like their car.