Tow company owner asks judge to hold Pittsburgh police chief in contempt
The owner of a Hazelwood towing company on Tuesday asked a federal judge to find the city and Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper in contempt of the judge's Sept. 27 order temporarily banning the city from enforcing a new towing policy.
The General Assembly passed a law in July that prohibits tow truck operators from showing up uninvited at accident scenes to solicit business from motorists with disabled vehicles. Harper issued a policy to his officers in August implementing the new law.
John Halbleib, owner of Halbleib's Auto, claims in his lawsuit that federal motor carrier laws preempt the state law and Harper's policy. U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Mitchell approved an agreement between the city and Halbleib in which the city agreed to not enforce the policy until the issue is decided.
Halbleib says in his contempt motion that city police are still chasing his operators from accident scenes when they show up uninvited. He wants Mitchell to order Harper to formally rescind his previous policy and announce that fact to all officers at all shifts for at least three days so it's clear tow truck operators can solicit business at accident scenes.
John Bacharach, one of Halbleib's lawyers, and Joanna Doven, spokeswoman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, declined comment.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.