FIRST ON 3: TBI investigating towing practices in East Ridge - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

FIRST ON 3: TBI investigating towing practices in East Ridge

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Source: Times Free Press Source: Times Free Press

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is taking a hard look at the city of East Ridge and an ordinance that has drawn some criticism. Accusations are flying that the ordinance allows a tow truck monopoly within the city. The TBI confirms it is looking into allegations that at some point in time someone doctored the city's towing and wrecker service ordinance.

"We went in front of the council, I guess it's probably been three or four months ago and told them our issues," said Shannon Yates.

Yates says he and his father have asked multiple times for Doug Yates Towing to be included on the police rotation list of companies used to respond to accidents in the city.

"Years ago we actually asked for a business license in East Ridge and told them we wanted to open a business in East Ridge and was denied. They told us they already had towing companies in East Ridge and they weren't expecting anymore in East Ridge," said Yates.

As it stands now, only three towing companies are on the police rotation list. Two of them, East Ridge Auto Electric and Broome's Wrecker Service, are owned by the same person, Grover 'Buddy' Broome.

"I don't want to make any accusations but I know Buddy Broome's been over there for years and years," said Yates.

Yates says Broome gets two-thirds of all police wrecker calls and it is not fair.

"We've had reports of where great customers or even family friends would break down in East Ridge and have a wreck and were denied our services. They would request and say 'We want Doug Yates Towing to tow my vehicle,' and they were told 'No, you have to use one of East Ridge's towing companies.'"

Questions surround city ordinance 787. Broome has publicly stated before his companies are two separate entities and that he has a version of the ordinance which says his companies are grandfathered in anyway. But a copy Channel 3 obtained states "no permitee shall directly or indirectly operate more than one district wrecker."

Channel 3 stopped by Broome's to ask him some questions and was told he'd "be in touch." Channel 3 also reached out to several East Ridge city officials for comment and have not heard back.

"It seems like the good ole boy system, you know," said Yates.

Count on Channel 3 to follow the very latest developments in this investigation.

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