No tow away zone
A judge allowed owners of a Stillwell Avenue tow truck company with alleged ties to organized crime get one step closer to obtaining a coveted permit to pick up disabled vehicles on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Ridge Transport Systems took the city to court when the special permit wasn’t renewed, a move that cut into the company’s bottom line.
Instead of providing an explanation, the city decreed that the company was “non-responsible” and bounced it from the permit list.
The NYPD, who is charged with doing background checks on tow truck companies before doling out highway towing permits, made the determination.
Since no specific reason was given for their ouster, Ridge sued the city, claiming the determination was “arbitrary and capricious.”
During a hearing before Judge Yvonne Lewis, city attorneys claimed Ridge was denied a permit after learning that Mrs. Farva, the company’s principal owner (her first name wasn’t indicated in court records) could be “married to the mob.”
Her husband reportedly has “links to an organized crime family,” the NYPD claimed in court papers. He’s also been convicted of mail fraud, city attorneys said.
Attorneys for Ridge said Farva’s husband is not connected to the company, but the city thinks otherwise: He owns stock and is considered an “officer,” even though he wasn’t listed as one on the application for the highway permit.
Attorneys for Ridge admitted that a “mishap” led to Farva’s husband’s name being left off the application.
Yet despite Farva’s alleged connections to organized crime, Judge Lewis agreed with Ridge Transport Systems, ruling that when the city bounced the tow truck company from the list, it never indicated why it was found unworthy of the permit in any of its correspondence.
“The city acknowledged that they had the information regarding [Farva’s husband’s] previous felony conviction and the information regarding his alleged ties with organized crime prior to administering their Feb. 12, 2010 administrative determination, but still did not provide petitioner Ridge with a reasoning for [its] determination,” she wrote in her Aug. 20 decision.
The company had to come to court to find out why it was bounced, Judge Lewis noted.
Yet she wouldn’t side with the company’s claim that it was denied due process.
“Their opportunity to commence this proceeding is a fulfillment of Ridge’s due process under the Constitution of the United States,” she wrote.
Ridge attorneys are declaring victory, but this doesn’t mean the company will be getting its permit.
Attorneys for the towing company have a lot more red tape to cut through before its trucks can be seen on the BQE, court officials said.
Back in court
Foxy Brown is becoming a permanent fixture in Brooklyn Criminal Court.
The rapper who apparently can’t help telling off people she dislikes was once again in court this week — this time to be arraigned on the criminal contempt indictment hanging over her head — even those the punishment she’s facing has been downgraded to community service.
Brown, whose real name is Inga Marchand, was released on her own recognizance after it was announced that the grand jury had only indicted her on one misdemeanor criminal contempt charge.
Brown is accused of violating an order of protection filed against her by Arlene Raymond — her neighbor — on July 21 when the rapper mooned the woman, calling her “a bitch,” during an altercation outside of her Crown Heights home.
Raymond called police, who arrested Marchand on the spot. When she was arrested, she was facing up to a year in jail.
Attorneys for Brown claim Raymond sparked the spat and that they were going to fight the criminal contempt charge.
Outside court, Brown told reporters the entire ordeal was “about jealousy.”