Photo by 24 hour DBA Auto Towing, http://www.flickr.com/photos/cars-towing/4082875680/in/photostream/
Update, 12:30 PM--We heard from the City of Oakland and it may be a complete coincidence that Pratt's cars were removed. City spokesperson Karen Boyd says:
"Our conclusion is that the timing was a coincidence. This morning Officer Luty was following up on a complaint from a resident that originated with Councilmember Kernighan's Office more than 3 weeks ago, on August 29. The resident reported sending in multiple declarations about the vehicles over the past year or more, requesting the vehicles to be towed. The resident claims that the vehicles have not been moved since June 2010, and one has expired registration. The resident asked for response again on September 2 and September 15.
Officer Luty towed the vehicles this morning, and in the process, Mr. Pratt came out to talk to him and he asked if Officer Luty was sent by the Mayor's Office as a result of his remarks to Council Tuesday night . Officer Luty was unaware of who Mr. Pratt was and what he had said at the Council meeting.
We did make a request this afternoon of Building Services to see if staff was handling any other active complaints or investigations regarding Mr. Pratt's property; there are none.
I also spoke with Councilmember Kernighan's staff, and they have been aware of neighborhood complaints against Mr. Pratt for some time."
Does complaining about the Mayor in an open forum lead to getting your cars towed off the street in front of your house? That's what local resident Ken Prart is asking after his Tuesday appearance at a City Council meeting where he accused the Mayor and her family of having a blighted property was followed by the Oakland Police Department coming to visit him later in the week and towing two cars.
According to Pratt, "This is retaliation; I had both of those cars without any problemsand the timing doesn't seem like coincidence."
The dry shingles of the shake roof are a fire hazard. The lower edges show mold or fungus rot.
But did this complaining play a role in Pratt getting his cars towed?
He says yes. Reached last night, Pratt is clear that his speaking up was what led to the cars being removed. "The OPD wouldn't tell me who called them, but they said they were within their rights to remove the cars, beccause they'd been parked for more than 72 hours on the same spot in the street."