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Tow truck company suing City of Hampton for $800,000 (VA)


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HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – A Hampton-based tow truck company is suing the city for $800,000 for allegedly breaching its contract.


“You have to stand up for what’s right,” said Wesley Ashe, owner of 3:16 towing.


In 2015, Ashe’s company was added to the Hampton Police Division’s on-call list for towing. That’s a rotational list that is used every time a wrecker is needed.


Last year, Ashe — with help from police and approval from the city attorney — began a cleanup program to sweep up debris and sop up spills.


“You have car wrecks and they leave a nasty mess behind,” Ashe said.


In January, the company was suddenly removed from the on-call list. Ashe was told he was overcharging, a claim he says isn’t true.


“From the ground up, we had approval with everything,” Ashe said.


Ashe was forced to leave Hampton. He’s had to sell several trucks. Others were repossessed. 


“It sucks,” Ashe added. “I’m a tough guy and I’m a proud person, but it sucks. It really sucks. I can’t come up with a better word than that.”


With his company hanging on by a thread, Ashe decided to take the city to court.


“When you had a clear path and you never saw it coming, it is really devastating,” he said.


Ashe says he didn’t want to go down this path, but he just felt there was no choice.


“We could have talked about things and done things a different way, but there was no talking about anything,” Ashe added.


10 On Your Side reached out city officials and we were told no one would comment on pending litigation. 


RESOURCE LINK with video

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I am curious to see the end result of this.  It seems that the towing/environmental co is on the right path for properly cleaning up a scene.  These fixed rate police contracts are crazy.  Seeing their rates of $285 on a heavy duty police tow and $125 on a light duty blows my mind.  We have local police departments that have a similar fixed rate contract and we just cant make the numbers work.  The higher ups don't seem to understand the costs.   After checking out the environmental companies rates and all, things look reasonable and honestly on the cheap side.


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I too would like to see how this unfolds. There is got to be way more to this story than just this. If the tower and the city in fact have a WRITTEN agreement as to what he can and cant charge for and he followed those guidelines to a T, then this should be an open and shut case. If his agreement was done on a hand shake, then I would guess he is in trouble. Documentation is EVERYTHING. I doubt he will see his $800,000 mainly because he will be left with the obligation to prove that is what he has lost from being removed from rotation. But he may get some form of compensation and his place back on the rotation. 


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