Dallas Tow Company Back in Business

Lone Star Auto allowed to operate until December hearing

Earlier, NBCDFW.com incorrectly reported the outcome of Lone Star Auto's appeal of its license revocation. The company is allowed to continue operating until a city hearing in December. NBCDFW.com regrets the error.

A Dallas company under fire in the towing of dozens of Texas-OU fans' vehicles has appealed the city's revocation of its license.

The city revoked Lone Star Auto Services' license earlier this week, but the company is allowed to continue to operate until a Dec. 4 hearing.

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert said he was "disappointed and surprised" to hear the company is towing again.

"This sort of situation, the facts that have been relayed to me would indicate that this is not the kind of organization we want to have involved in it," he said.

"We've got to play through the due process, and that's fair and right, but I think everybody's committed to trying to address these situations," Leppert said.

He said the city is working on tougher rules.

Dozens of Texas-OU fans said last month their cars were towed from a lot they paid to park in. The fans said attendants waved them into the lot.

"We looked around, there was no signs, not one single sign, so we went ahead and parked," Seven Gonzalez said. "They charged us $20 dollars to park."

The drivers paid Lone Star Auto almost $200 to get their cars back, including a governmental entity fee the city said was illegal.

"I think it was a bad message," Leppert said. "It reflected poorly on the city (and) clearly reflected poorly on the State Fair."

Andrew Kirubi said Lone Star Auot towed his car Thursday morning.

"I'm not even supposed to be spending this money now," he said. "Now I'm $140 back, and I don't know how I'm going to make that up."

But he said he was not charged the mysterious government entity fee that showed up on the Texas-OU fans' bills.

Lone Star Auto appealed to the city's Public Works and Transportation Department after its license was revoked on Tuesday.

John Brunk of the city's Transportation Department said an investigation found Lone Star Auto had 24 violations of the Dallas City Code.

"That led us to the conclusion that they are just knowingly and intentionally not wanting to follow the rules and regulations in the city of Dallas," he said.

An attorney for the towing company declined to comment on Thursday.

In the past, the company has said it received orders from the property owner to tow cars during the Texas-OU game. Lone Star Auto later agreed to reimburse more than two dozen people whose cars were towed during the game.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division are investigating claims that Lone Star's actions were illegal.

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