'List of shame' showing $3.7 million in unpaid tolls wrong, firms say

Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:07 AM

CHICAGO, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Trucking companies and other firms on a list of 157 companies who owe nearly $3.7 million in tolls and fines to the Illinois Tollway say the list is wrong.

The list, published by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, shows some violations that go back 10 years, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

"This is certainly a list of shame," Tollway executive director Kristi Lafleur said in publishing the list Wednesday, the day after Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation allowing the list to be made public.

Posted on the authority's website, the list of companies who owe more than $1,000 is dominated by freight haulers, but also includes limousine services, towing firms and a day-care center.

Trucking firm Landa Transport Inc. tops the list with a reported $214,859 in unpaid tolls and fines.

Landa's operations manager, Eddie Garza, disputes the amount. Company trucks that use the toll roads are equipped with electronic payment devices, he said, but the vehicles rarely use the toll roads.

"We don't even spend that (amount) in fuel, let alone tolls," he said.

Other companies on the list said they also disputed the amounts the authority said they owed, while some were negotiating with tollway officials to resolve the debt.

Paul Cook, whose painting company was shown as owing nearly $51,000, was upset the list was published.

"It's not like we're running away or hiding," he said.

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