Chicago's Lincoln Towing Service, which was parodied in folk song for its aggressive way of doing business, was stripped of its operating license Wednesday by Illinois regulators.
The Illinois Commerce Commission voted unanimously to revoke Lincoln Towing's license immediately, ignoring an administrative law judge's recommendation that the company keep its license despite hundreds of alleged violations.
Commission Chairman Brien Sheahan pointed to a preponderance of evidence showing Lincoln Towing "has not conducted its business with honesty and integrity" for the commission's decision.
"This culminated an investigation that went on for about two years," starting in 2016, ICC spokeswoman Victoria Crawford said of Wednesday's decision.
According to Crawford, the investigation looked into allegations of 462 unauthorized tows and 369 instances where the company used an unlicensed operator during an eight-month span in 2015 and 2016.
"I think this is a victory for Chicago residents and visitors who've been wrongly towed," Crawford said.
Allen Perl, an attorney representing Lincoln, said the company will fight the ICC's decision.
"Lincoln Towing will be filing the appropriate motion for a rehearing in Commerce Commission. If not successful, we'll go to circuit court," Perl said. "It's our position that we will be allowed to remain open during the appeal process."
Crawford disagreed with that assessment, saying it is the ICC's perspective that there is an immediate revocation of their license once the commission has served Lincoln with its decision.
Lincoln Towing was dubbed the "Lincoln Park Pirates" in a 1972 folk song by Steve Goodman. The song parodied the company with the line, "There's no car too heavy and no one can make us shut down."
In March 2016, the ICC began investigating Rendered Services, the state's second-largest relocation towing company. A hearing in that case is scheduled for Thursday.