The Illinois Tollway shamed its "super scofflaws" Wednesday when the agency released a list of companies that have the biggest tab of unpaid tolls, the top violator owing nearly $215,000.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the list of super scofflaws comprises 157 companies
and totals nearly $3.7 million. The tollway posted the list of companies that owe $1,000 or more online after getting the OK from Gov. Pat Quinn earlier this week.
"This is certainly a list of shame," Kristi Lafleur, tollway executive director, told the Tribune. "This is an effort to use every enforcement tool that is available to us to pursue these businesses and to do the right thing for the 98 percent of the people who pay their tolls."
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The No. 1 tollway debtor is Landa Transport, Inc., a Frankfort-based trucking company, which allegedly owes $214,859.10 in unpaid tolls and fines.
"Clearly when you are looking at almost $215,000, that is more than a simple mistake and it seems to be someone who does not want to pay," Lafleur said.
But Landa operations manager Eddie Garza said there's no way his company ran up that high of a tab because all of the trucks have I-PASS automatic toll-pay systems installed.
"I could pretty much guarantee that we do not owe that much because we don't have that kind of equipment to generate that kind of money," Garza told the Tribune. "We don't even spend that [amount] in fuel, let alone tolls."
Many of the scofflaws are long-haul trucking companies and taxi and limousine services, but there are also painting companies, a day care center, and a senior citizen health consultancy firm that made the list.
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The tollyway promises to remove the debtors from its website if the businesses call their collections agencies to "resolve their debt."
In addition to a public flogging, the tollway has also sued each scofflaw business after reportedly contacting the violators at least nine times and offering to negotiate a settlement or payment plan, according to the Tribune.
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