Tollway posts list of ‘super’ toll violators
By Frank Abderholden email@example.com August 29, 2013 8:00PM
| Frank Abderholden/Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:24AM
While the Illinois Tollway may call them Super Scofflaws, when you actually talk to them, they sound like they are exhausted from trying to deal with the government agency.
Following Gov. Pat Quinn’s signing of legislation allowing publication of people owing over $1,000, the tollway released it’s biggest scofflaw list, and it starts with Landa Transport of Frankfort with a tab of $214,859.10 and ends with Sick Fence LLC of Kenosha, Wis., with a tab of $1,016.35. A total of 157 scofflaws were on the hook for exactly $3,684,414.05.
In Lake County, nine businesses were on the list. Sals & Sons Wrecker Service in Waukegan had the highest tab in the county at $56,919.75 and that does not include Sal & Sons Auto Repair & Builders Inc., of Lake Bluff, which owes $29,400.50. Saleh Qasem was not available for comment.
Next was Ram Specialized Carrier, Inc., of Antioch that owes $15,546.75. Richard Mondrzejewski said their business went under over two and a half years ago. His wife has had cancer and it became too difficult to deal with, although he does get calls from a Chicago collection agency.
“It just escalates. My wife has cancer, I’m a disabled veteran. They just compound it to the point you can’t pay,” he said. “It becomes insurmountable and you can’t deal with it,” he said, wondering aloud if declaring bankruptcy was the only way out.
“I bet less than $500 are actual tolls,” he said. Semi-tractor trailers for his company had transponders inside the cab and sometimes it wouldn’t register. On Peterbilt trucks, the metal in the sun visor sometimes blocked the signal and then he also had some drivers leave the company and take the transponders with them. Some fines were more because of a penalty for running a toll without an account after the camera caught the trailer license plate and not the plate on the front of the cab, which can be different.
“It’s not as it sounds like in the news: ‘these scofflaws deliberately do things bad,’” he said. “A $1.25 toll can become $20 and then $40 and then $200 and before you know its overwhelming,” said Mondrzejewski.
After talking to a reporter with the Lake County News-Sun, he called tollway officials and found someone who agreed with him that he had a lot of fines for the trailer license plate and cab license plate mix up. “They said someone would get back to me in 48 hours. Hopefully we can iron it all out,” he said.
Evette Ulloa, manager and owner of C&C Transportation Taxi Service of North Chicago, said she has records of what she paid on the $6,542.40 she owes and she also complained of the way the tollway double charges. “I don’t see how they can do that,” she said, adding that she is trying to get it straightened out. “Back in the day, we used the tollway a lot. Now we never go down there,” she said.
“It gets to be like any other debt collection. You pay a little and pay little and it never seems to go down,” she said.
The other scofflaws were Performance Concrete of Wauconda for $12,556.40; Greenview Group of Lincolnshire for $4,328.60; Scott Pacatte Construction of Libertyville for $2349.25; Whelan Nursey Inc. of Barrington for $2,144.60; and WCP Services of Lake Villa for $2,125.20.
According to the Illinois Tollway, fines due go from $20 and then an additional $50 on the third notice, but there are also several collection notices that go out over several months. When the announcement was made, Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said, “The Tollway is committed to using every option available to us to try to collect millions of dollars in unpaid tolls and fines from delinquent drivers. Anything less would be unfair to the 98 percent of Tollway customers who pay their tolls on time.”