A South Side towing company has sued the city and several of its officials, claiming the city has been harassing the company.
The lawsuit, which seeks more than $275,000 in damages, was filed by Atty. Matthew C. Giannini on Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on behalf of Alex Bugno, owner of Bugno Towing and Recovery, 1101 E. Indianola Ave.
Besides the city, the defendants are Mayor Charles P. Sammarone, Police Chief Rod Foley, Finance Director David Bozanich and Law Director Anthony Farris.
The lawsuit, which demands a jury trial, alleges that the city is engaged in a harassment campaign to “destroy plaintiff’s business operations and personal reputation in the community.”
The alleged harassment includes “unwarranted investigatory stops, arrests, towing of plaintiff’s vehicles, citations for unsubstantiated zoning violations and the like,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says the city has been citing the towing company for violating a city ordinance that forbids towing companies from responding to accident scenes unless they are summoned there by police or a party to the accident.
Calling the lawsuit frivolous and denying any harassment by the city against Bugno, Farris said: “The police are doing an excellent job and are enforcing the laws and conducting their business appropriately.”
Magistrate Daniel Dascenzo did not issue the temporary restraining order against the city, which the lawsuit requested, but he set a preliminary injunction hearing for 11 a.m. April 11.