THAT’s a hypothetical question?
Say your car was towed, and you asked the tower how much it would cost to get it back, and he said, ”Ma’am, it would be like $2,000.” The answer sounds pretty definitive, wouldn’t you say? Give me two grand, and you can have your car back.
Only this was no ordinary car owner, and this was no ordinary towing contractor, and it’s highly suspect that this was a hypothetical question.
The Wilkes-Barre woman is in her eighties, and her car wasn’t towed because the meter expired. It was stolen and ended up in the lot of the city’s controversial towing contractor, Leo Glodzik, owner of LAG Towing aka the city’s golden boy.
The woman, identified in a Times Leader article Sunday, is Natalie Aleo, who reported on Dec. 10 that someone stole her car. Well the city police located it in Plymouth and for some very strange reason didn’t notify Aleo. They apparently did notifiy Glodzik, who towed the car to his lot.
Glodzik said he was moving some vehicles around last week and found identification papers in Aleo’s car and called her. She came to his lot and asked what it would cost to get the car out of storage. That IS NOT, under anyone’s definition, a hypothetical question, but Glodzik told the TL it was. So he apparently gave her a hypothetical answer. “Ma’am, it would be like $2,000.”
As it turns out, the car’s engine was blown. TL Staff Writer Jerry Lynott reported. Glodzik said he offered to take the woman’s car wherever she wanted – for a fee, but that she refused after being told of the car’s condition. She was probably also blown away by the “hypothetical” pricetag to get her car out of storage.
Enter city Mayor Tom Leighton, who called the elderly woman. Why, we don’t know. He probably had a near heart attack when he found out Glodzik may be making headlines again.
But Mayor Leighton assured the TL that Aleo was “perfectly happy” with LAG. Isn’t everybody? “This lady had no idea why the mayor was calling her,” Leighton said. She’s not the only one.
Also stepping into the fray was Charlotte Raup, president of the city’s Crime Watch Coalition. Raup said this woman was a victim and should pay nothing to get her car back. Glodzik said, “We don’t charge the victim of a crime,” adding she paid nothing. However, Glodzik knew her car was stolen, which made her a victim. So why then did he tell her, hypothetically, that is, that she’d have to pay $2,000 to get her car back?
At least one city councilman months ago demanded that the city take a good, hard look at Glodzik’s contract because of other alleged complaints about his business practices. This incident has Tony George fired up anew and said the issue may be raised at meetings this week.
Last July, George asked Leighton to terminate Glodzik’s contract. That, of course, went nowhere, except for the formation of a committee to review the contract. That went nowhere as well. Not one meeting has been scheduled.
Just what is this committee waiting for? Glodzik has thumbed his nose at the council by refusing to provide receipts, and there have been other complaints against him.
Perhaps Forty Fort resident Mark Robbins, whom some have dismissed as having a vendetta against Glodzik, will be vindicated after all. Robbins has not let Glodzik out of his sight since his own vehicle was towed. He said his vehicle was also damaged and that Glodzik refused to take responsibility. He has also accused LAG of taking advantage of the poor and the elderly and has filed numerous complaints with state offices.
We don’t know yet whether Aleo’s 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass was in working order before it was stolen. But it did make it to Plymouth before ending up in LAG’s lot. Now Glodzik says the car isn’t worth repairing. “What I’ll do is junk the car,” he said.
Really. If that’s the case, then how about telling us why you told this elderly woman, who asked you what it would cost to get her car out of storage, ”Ma’am, it would be like $2,000.”
- Betty Roccograndi