Shelby Township is now in litigation with two towing contractors.
On Sept. 29, Utica Van Dyke Service LLC filed a lawsuit in Macomb County Circuit Court alleging the township dissolved the company’s 2009 contract because of political pressures from Nightingale Services Inc. -- which was later awarded the contract -- and then terminated, too.
Just four months ago, in a separate lawsuit, Nightingale Services Inc. filed a lawsuit in federal court against Shelby Township and five Board of Trustees citing a breach of contract and denial of due process.
Shelby Township Attorney Rob Huth told C&G News that the difference between the two lawsuits is Utica Van Dyke contends that the township should never have awarded them the contract, and Nightingale is saying they should have never been terminated.
Nightingale Services had been handling towing for Shelby Township for the past 27 years without a contract until the bidding process was opened in 2008 and awarded to Utica Van Dyke during a Board of Trustees meeting in August 2009.
The contract with Utica Van Dyke was dissolved just two months later because the company lacked the proper equipment, according to Shelby Township.
The towing contract was then awarded back to Nightingale in 2010, until February 2012, when the three-year contract was terminated early because of alleged contract violations. The township’s current towing contractor is Ruehle’s Towing.
In the lawsuit filed by Utica Van Dyke Towing, the contractor said the real reason the company was dismissed was because of political pressure by John and Nick Nightingale, who had filed recall petitions against several board members.
Nick Nightingale is running for Trustee during the Nov. 6 elections.
"Clearly the towing companies are aggressive when it comes to these municipal bids but I’m confident in the long run, the practices for awarding bids will be upheld by the court," Huth Told Patch.
Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis told the newspaper that if Nick Nightingale were to be elected to the board, they would have to deal with a board member who is suing the township and five board members.
Huth said it would be up to Nick Nightingale, if elected, to excuse himself of any matters that he may have a conflict with.