Session on disputed contract tentatively set for early August, Wilkes-Barre official says.

Last updated: July 18. 2013 12:28AM - 4077 Views
By - jlynott@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6120

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WILKES-BARRE — The arbitration hearing for suspended city tower Leo A. Glodzik III has tentatively been scheduled for early next month, according to the assistant city attorney.

The time and date of the public hearing have yet to be set, as ADR Options of Philadelphia is in the process of naming an arbitrator for the proceeding, assistant city attorney William Vinsko said in an email forwarded Tuesday by city spokeswoman Liza Prokop.

The city and attorney Joseph Sklarosky Sr., representing Glodzik, owner of LAG Towing, agreed to have ADR appoint a neutral arbitrator in accordance with the terms of the $50,050 annual contract LAG signed with the city on April 29, 2005.

“It is likely that the parties’ counsel will have a conference to establish the evidentiary rules and procedures for the arbitration, and, ultimately, the date,” Vinsko said.

Sklarosky did not respond to either a phone message left with his office or an email.

Mayor Tom Leighton suspended LAG’s contract on May 31 upon the filing of theft charges against Glodzik by the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office. The five-year contract had been amended and extended in May 1, 2009, to run through May 1, 2015.

Glodzik, 42, whose address was listed as Foote Avenue, Duryea, was caught in a sting operation in January while stealing $2,100 in cash from a vehicle he towed in January and that purportedly had been seized as part of a drug task force arrest, according to arrest papers. Glodzik allegedly kept $1,000 and provided $1,100 to an undercover state police officer working with the FBI.

A preliminary hearing on the charges is scheduled for Monday before District Judge Paul Roberts in Kingston.

According to the terms of the towing contract, a “mutually agreed upon arbitrator” had to be named within 60 days from the suspension that the mayor said was permanent in nature.

The suspension came after repeated calls from the public for the mayor to terminate LAG’s contract for alleged violations, including price gouging and charging fees to people whose vehicles were reported stolen. At the recommendation of city council, the mayor began an in-house investigation of complaints against LAG. But the mayor said once he was notified by Police Chief Gerry Dessoye of the outside investigation into Glodzik and the city police department, he and the chief deciding against taking any official action that might hinder the probes.

In the interim, Falzone Towing Service of Wilkes-Barre has been assigned the towing duties in the city until a new contract is awarded.

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