Cops: Councilman extorted towing company

Tow be or not tow be?

One suburban towing company found out that to continue to be Yeadon borough's contracted towing service, an old-fashioned bribe of the borough's council president was in order, according to court documents.

John Holden
John Holden

Unfortunately for council President John Holden, the proprietors of Seiple's Collision refused to tow the line and worked with police to nab him on charges of extortion and bribery yesterday afternoon.

It all began in March when Holden, 46, had his abandoned car tagged by the borough's code enforcement officer and towed by the borough contracted towing service, Seiple's Collision, despite calls from Holden to the towing company not to tow his vehicle, court documents said.  

In July, Seiple's wife attended a Yeadon Borough Council meeting during which Holden claimed he'd received complaints about Seiple's, had his own problem with the company and wanted to discuss contracting a new towing service for the borough, according to court documents.

Following that meeting, Holden and Seiple had several discussions and then met at a Yeadon school yard on Aug. 2. During the meeting, Holden told Seiple he'd received "racial complaints," against his company, though he couldn't provide specifics or documentation, according to court documents.

Seiple asked Holden "what it would take to make this problem go away," and even offered to give him his car back, court documents said.

But Holden didn't want his car, he wanted $7,000, according to police.

"'You know what has to be done but I can't say it,'" Holden told Seiple, court documents said.

He let Seiple know how much he could be bribed for by simply writing the number 7 down on a piece of paper, police said.

On Wednesday, Seiple, who was working with county detectives, met with Holden and gave him $1,000 as a down payment on the bribe, police said.

When police moved in and arrested Holden, they found a fully-loaded handgun on him.